Bad breath, or halitosis, happens to everyone from time to time. Whether you just woke up or just polished off a garlicky meal, it’s most often a temporary issue that disappears when you clean your teeth or use mouthwash.
But sometimes, bad breath isn’t so easy to eliminate. When bad breath becomes chronic and persists despite your best efforts at oral hygiene, it might be trying to tell you something more significant about your health.
J. Paul Fuentes, DDS, DABP, and Andrew Peterson, DMD, MS, lead our team at Arcadia Perio and are here to help you figure it out. We specialize in gum disease and regenerative therapy.
In this article, we take a closer look at some of the underlying causes of bad breath and what you can do about it.
Common causes of chronic bad breath
Before we explore treatment options, we want to explain the potential causes of chronic bad breath. Identifying the root cause makes treatment more effective. Here are some of the most common culprits:
Poor dental hygiene
The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. That means you might not be brushing and flossing properly or as often as you should. When food particles and bacteria build up in your mouth, they can produce foul-smelling gasses and halitosis.
Saliva helps cleanse your mouth and neutralize acids produced by bacteria. Having a dry mouth (xerostomia) can lead to bad breath because you don’t have enough saliva to neutralize bacteria.
While dry mouth can happen to anyone, it’s most common with certain health conditions and medications.
Gingivitis and periodontitis are the two stages of gum disease and a leading cause of chronic bad breath. Gum disease develops when bacteria builds up on your teeth and gums, causing inflammation and infection. The buildup can also contribute to halitosis.
In some cases, chronic bad breath can be a sign of an underlying medical condition that extends beyond your oral health. Respiratory infections, diabetes, liver disease, and acid reflux are just a few examples of underlying health issues that can also cause halitosis.
Your treatment options for chronic bad breath
Chronic bad breath can be embarrassing, but the good news is that you have treatment options. Dr. Fuentes and Dr. Peterson work with you to pinpoint the underlying cause and implement treatment to boost your oral health and freshen your breath.
We recommend starting by treating any underlying health issues like acid reflux and overhauling your oral hygiene routine. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and use an antimicrobial mouthwash to reduce bacteria in your mouth.
Schedule regular dental visits for professional cleanings and oral health assessments. If we identify signs of gum disease, we may suggest additional treatment like LANAP laser treatment to thoroughly clean your teeth and gums.
Along with dental treatments, lifestyle changes can make a difference for your breath, too. If you have dry mouth, stay hydrated and try chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production.
Limit or avoid foods that are known to cause bad breath, like garlic and onions. Opt for foods that promote fresh breath, like apples and carrots. Quitting smoking and moderating alcohol consumption can also significantly improve the smell of your breath.
Chronic bad breath isn’t just an inconvenience — it could be a sign of an underlying health problem. Get to the bottom of it and find a solution for your halitosis at Arcadia Perio in Arcadia, California. Call us at 626-600-2009 or book online now.