Chronic Bad Breath? You May Need to Visit the Dentist

Chronic Bad Breath? You May Need to Visit the Dentist

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be quite embarrassing. Many cases, such as “morning breath,” are short lived and easy to correct. In some cases, though, bad breath can become chronic. If yours does not respond to brushing, flossing, and mouthwash, see your dentist as soon as possible.

Common Causes of Bad Breath

Chronic bad breath can be caused by many factors. Here are the most common:

Gum disease: Most people have at least mild gum disease, and food debris can easily get trapped in the pockets around the teeth. Trapped food eventually decays and can start to smell.

Cavities and cracked fillings: Both cavities and cracked fillings leave an opening in the tooth for food debris and bacteria. Eventually, like those stuck in the gums, these will start to decay and smell bad.

Badly fitted dentures: Dentures that are not well-fitted or are not properly cleaned provide a spot for food to become trapped, again decaying and causing odors.

Dry mouth: Saliva is a natural tooth cleaner, and it can help keep your breath fresh between brushings. Salivary gland issues, many common medications, and other factors can cause chronic dry mouth. Without enough saliva, your mouth can become smelly.

Occasionally, chronic bad breath can indicate a physical illness. If your dentist cannot find the source of your chronic bad breath, you may need to be checked for these diseases:

  •               Chronic acid reflux
  •               Diabetes
  •               Kidney disease
  •               Liver disease
  •               Oral yeast infection
  •               Respiratory tract infection such as bronchitis
  •               Sinus infection

Treating Chronic Bad Breath

Since chronic bad breath is a symptom rather than an independent condition, treatment revolves around solving the underlying issue. You may need to take antibiotics for an infection, have a denture adjustment, undergo treatment for gum disease, switch medications, or take some other action.

If your chronic bad breath is due to an underlying disease, your dentist will work with your doctor to reduce the symptom while treating the medical problem. Integrative medicine is a modern approach that brings together specialists from different fields.

Preventing Bad Breath

It is always easier to prevent bad breath than to treat it, so make a renewed commitment to your oral health. Brush and floss twice per day, and have professional cleanings twice per year. Have any dental work you have neglected taken care of, and pledge to deal with future problems immediately.

Chronic bad breath can be highly embarrassing, but most of the time it is due to a relatively simple issue. See your dentist as soon as possible to get back on the road to a healthy, pleasant-smelling smile.

Ready to Get Started?

If you are ready to start your journey to oral health with a trustworthy, skilled, and compassionate dentist, contact Artistic Family Dentistry of Silver Spring today at 240-641-5828 to schedule your first appointment.