Bad breath is common. Everyone, at some point or other, will suffer from it. Coffee, onions, and garlic are all likely culprits. But what happens when the problem of bad breath isn’t easily solved? What happens when you brush and floss, stick to a quality dental routine, and you still have bad breath? The term for this extended, and sometimes chronic, condition is halitosis. Here are a few of the causes of halitosis, and the possible treatments.
Halitosis may be a sign of a chronic and severe condition; think of it as being a possible canary in the coal mine type of problem. Halitosis may be a sign of gum disease—gingivitis or the more severe periodontal disease—or even a cavity.
Halitosis may also be caused by an infection in the sinuses. Sinus infections, especially those infections accompanied by a post nasal drip, can trigger the condition of halitosis. This is because the bacteria in your mouth feed on the mucous secreted from the sinus membranes. Usually, if a sinus infection is the cause of bad breath, the condition will lessen or go away altogether, when the sinus infection is treated.
The condition of dry mouth may cause halitosis. Saliva clears the food debris from your mouth, and, if the mouth is unable to clear away food debris, bacteria are allowed to thrive, feed on the sugars in your mouth. The waste product produced by these bacteria is, unfortunately, stinky-smelling. The condition of dry mouth itself, may be the cause of any one of numerous things, including medication. Dry mouth is a very common side-effect for many medications.
If you think you suffer from bad breath then first consider your daily oral care routine. Make sure you’re brushing at least twice daily—for two minutes at least! Remember to brush your tongue as well as your teeth and gums (it’s kind of gross, but bacteria can thrive on your tongue!). Make sure you’re flossing or using interdental cleaners to clean the area between the teeth and around the gum line. Remember to stick to your regular dental visits, and visit your periodontist, Dr. Manhart, for treatment of gum disease.