What Causes Chronic Bad Breath?

Bad-smelling breath can affect the best of us after a strong-flavored meal. Typically, this unpleasant condition can be resolved by brushing, flossing, or rinsing away any food particles that may be lingering in your mouth.

But sometimes, bad breath, also known as halitosis, can become chronic or persist even after you complete your oral hygiene regimen. In this case, the symptom might point to a larger dental problem requiring treatment from your dentist. You can improve your chances of fighting bad breath by learning about four primary causes of halitosis.

fight bad breath with preventative dental care

4 Common Contributors to Halitosis

Consuming Strong Foods

Diet can majorly influence the likelihood of developing bad breath. While maintaining a good oral hygiene regimen can get rid of many cases of bad breath, particularly strong food items, like garlic or onions, could lead to persistent halitosis that brushing your teeth will not resolve.

The fragrant oils from these types of foods will transfer to your bloodstream, reaching your lungs and leaving you with smelly breath that may last longer than a day. Pay attention to the foods and drinks that you consume to be aware of how they impact your breath.

Poor Oral Habits

Oral hygiene will scrub away more than just lingering food particles. The mouth contains natural bacteria that generate a film over your teeth called plaque. Brushing and flossing your teeth will get rid of plaque, but if you do not practice good oral hygiene, plaque can not only hurt your oral health but generate a smell causing bad breath.

Adhere to a thorough oral hygiene regimen to ensure your smile stays healthy, clean, and fresh. Other oral habits such as smoking or chewing tobacco could exacerbate halitosis. So, make sure you avoid these types of behaviors to protect your smile.

Dry Mouth

Dry mouth refers to a tacky sensation within your mouth that occurs when you experience a drop in saliva production. A dry environment allows bacteria to spread with greater ease, which can then produce a foul odor that presents on your breath.

Dry mouth usually stems from dehydration. Drinking plenty of water helps to get rid of this condition and keeps your mouth looking, feeling, and smelling its best. If dry mouth does not go away as you drink water, you should talk with your dentist.

Periodontal Disease

Periodontal disease is a common type of infection that affects your gum tissue. It often presents with swelling, redness, and bleeding in the gums at its early stage. As it advances, bacteria can build up in the gum pockets where it can start to smell and impact your breath.

Reduce your risk of contracting gum disease by practicing good oral hygiene. If you notice issues with your gums, do not wait to seek periodontal therapy from your dentist. The infection will not go away on its own, and you will need urgent treatment to stop the disease before it causes lasting dental damage.