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What is Halitosis?

Halitosis is chronic bad breath. This is the sort of bad breath that mouthwash and mints can’t get rid of. This strong smell lingers for an extended amount of time and is often a sign of other dental issues. Quick fixes may cover the issues for a short period of time, but if foul smelling breath continues to reoccur it could be that something else is going on. Identifying the problem and determining the cause is the first step to eliminating it.

What causes Halitosis?

There are many potential causes of halitosis. It is possible that is being caused by dental issues such as gum disease, cavities, or bacteria growth that is not being removed with brushing or flossing.

The effects of halitosis can also be caused by dry mouth. Saliva production leads to a cleaner mouth and better smelling breath. It rinses your mouth, removes unwanted particles left behind, and helps to prevent bad bacteria growth. A dry mouth can lead to some smelly breath and an unhealthy mouth. Drinking water and snacks can help produce salvia.

Another common cause of halitosis is smoking or tobacco. These products leave an odor in your mouth. Aside from the bad smell, tobacco and smoking also lead to cavities and gum disease.

An illness such as a sinus infection or other mouth, nose, and throat related illnesses can also lead to halitosis. Bacteria (that causes bad breath) feeds on mucus. When your body is producing excessive mucus, like you do when you are dealing with a cold or infection, it can mean some long-lasting bad breath.

Though it is rarer, halitosis can also mean other serious conditions. Things going on in your mouth are other linked to other health-related issues. Halitosis could mean gastric reflux, diabetes, or even liver or kidney disease.

How can you get rid of Halitosis?

Treating your halitosis may differ based on the cause of it. But for general practices—practice good dental hygiene quit bad habits, drink more water, and produce salvia. Avoid foods that cause bad breath. Eat more fruits and vegetables—these foods help salvia production, leading to better breath. Suck on sugar-free mints. Drink water regularly, avoid a dry mouth. Brush your teeth, gums, and tongue at least twice a day. Floss every day, particularly after eating foods that get caught in your teeth like chips, popcorn, etc. Rinse with alcohol-free mouthwash. Avoid tobacco of any kind.

If these changes in your daily habits don’t help and your halitosis lingers, you may want to see your dentist. You should be going in for a cleaning at least twice a year. This is a good time to bring up the issue with your dentist. They will be able to identify the cause and help you to come up with a solution for it. Your dentist may even refer you to a doctor if there are underlying health issues causing the problem.