If you have chronic bad breath, also known as “halitosis”, this could be an indication of other, more serious dental health problems. Everyone has bad breath from time to time. This can result from eating certain foods such as garlic and onions or from the bacteria that can form on your teeth and tongue at night when you are sleeping. In most cases, bad breath from these causes can be easily remedied by simply brushing your teeth or eating a breath mint. Rinsing your mouth with water can also be helpful. Rinsing with mouthwash can also be effective in these cases. However, bad breath that is more chronic in nature and occurs regardless of what you eat can be a sign of more serious dental health problems. Bad breath can be caused by dental health problems such as gum disease or an infected tooth. In this case an, antibacterial rinse, oral medication or restorative dental procedure may be needed to treat the underlying cause of the bad breath.
Bad breath can also result from Xerostomia (dry mouth). Your saliva plays an important role in your dental health. An adequate supply of saliva is needed to moisten your mouth, neutralize acids produced from plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the gums, cheek and tongue. If these dead cells are not removed, they can accumulate in your mouth and decompose, causing bad breath. Dry mouth is a common side effect of many popular medications. It can also result from continuous mouth breathing or problems with the salivary glands.
If you are experiencing bad breath on a regular basis, it is time to take a trip to your dentist’s office. Your dentist can then check for underlying causes that may be contributing to bad breath. Once the problem has been accurately identified, your dentist can recommend the most appropriate treatment to eliminate your symptoms and protect your long-term dental health.