Chronic Bad Breath: Causes, Treatments, and Prevention
Chronic bad breath – or halitosis – can certainly be embarrassing, but it can also indicate oral health issues such as gum disease or tooth decay. At Sandcreek Dental in Idaho Falls, ID, Dr. Mark Tall can treat chronic bad breath through a deep cleaning procedure that eliminates pockets of bacteria along your gums. He can also offer recommendations to prevent chronic bad breath.
Common Causes of Chronic Bad Breath
There are several reasons why chronic bad breath may occur. The most common causes include:
- Certain foods: When food is eaten, the particles are broken down inside the mouth, which can lead to a foul odor. Onions and garlic contain oils that are transmitted to the lungs after being consumed. As a result, bad breath is apparent when the air leaves the lungs.
- Bacterial infections: The most common cause of halitosis is the oral bacteria that accumulate around the teeth, along the gum line, and on the tongue. These bacteria feed on the sugars in the mouth and cause plaque buildup. Gum disease and tooth decay can result, making bad breath even worse.
- Certain medical conditions: In some instances, bad breath can be an indicator of underlying medical conditions. For example, sinus, throat, and respiratory infections can all cause halitosis. Bad breath can also be linked to acid reflux, diabetes, liver disease, kidney disease, and various metabolic disorders. If you notice an unusual breath odor, schedule a consultation with your doctor right away.
Treating Chronic Bad Breath
Because chronic bad breath can be caused by so many different factors, treatment will depend on your unique needs. For example, if tooth decay is to blame, restorative procedures will be recommended to eliminate bacteria and repair your smile. This may include fillings, dental crowns, or root canal therapy. If gum disease is the cause of your halitosis, Dr. Tall will likely recommend scaling and root planing. This procedure, also known as a deep cleaning, removes bacteria from beneath the gum line. Dr. Tall will also smooth the root surfaces to prevent plaque from collecting in the future.
How to Prevent Chronic Bad Breath
While chronic bad breath can be addressed with professional treatments, the primary goal is to avoid the issue in the first place. Our team can demonstrate proper brushing and flossing techniques to help you keep your teeth and gums healthy between visits. Patients should brush at least twice a day and floss once daily. In addition, it is a good idea to:
- Abstain from all tobacco products
- Limit your intake of odor-producing foods
- Use an alcohol-free antibacterial mouthwash
- Repair loose dentures, which can harbor bacteria.
Additionally, patients should attend all routine dental cleanings and examinations. This will allow Dr. Tall to monitor your oral health and identify any potential problems in their earliest stages.
Contact Sandcreek Dental Today
If you suffer from chronic bad breath, professional dental treatments can help. To learn more, schedule a consultation at Sandcreek Dental by contacting us online or calling our office at (208) 525-4780.