Dealing with Bad Breath

A consistent case of bad breath (also called Halitosis) can be attributed to an array of causes including diet, lifestyle habits and dental hygiene. While at the surface, persistent bad breath can be an embarrassing or anxiety-inducing problem, it could also be a sign of either a dental or overall health concern.

If you have been dealing with chronic bad breath, now is the time to consider reviewing your dental hygiene routine. Are you brushing, flossing, and rinsing your mouth thoroughly and regularly? If not, your dentist can brush up your habits and get you on the right track. If you feel your dental upkeep is more than adequate and your bad breath persists, it may be time to ask either your dentist or family physician for further advice.

A few things that could be causing your bad breath:

  • Food – highly flavourful foods including onions, garlic and certain other spices tend to contribute to temporary to consistent bad breath depending on how often they are being consumed.
  • Poor Dental Hygiene – if you are skipping the daily habits of brushing and flossing, you risk leaving a large amount of food matter in your mouth, promoting odour-causing bacteria to form and multiply.
  • Smoking – regular smokers report a higher level of bad breath due to the additives such as tobacco.
  • Infection and/or Mouth Sores – mouth sores such as cankers are certainly common, however they should clear up within a matter of a few days. If you have a mouth infection or persistent sore, have your dentist or doctor check it out to ensure it’s not a sign of another health issue.
  • Dry Mouth – a chronically dry mouth is likely not producing enough saliva to wash away food particles and break down bacteria in the mouth, leading to consistent odour.
  • Disease and Medication – certain diseases, those that are metabolic in nature in particular, can lead to bad breath as a result of the chemicals they produce from the body. Concurrently, medication taken for some diseases can cause the body to process them in such a way that carries certain chemicals through the body, resulting in bad breath.

A few ways to deal with bad breath:

  • Brush teeth and tongue after eating
  • Use a mouth rinse regularly
  • Floss at least once per day
  • Avoid dry mouth – drink water, chew sugarless gum
  • Adjust your diet – avoid odour-intense foods
  • See your dentist!