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What To Do About Chronic Bad Breath

Published date field Last Updated:

Medically Reviewed By Colgate Global Scientific Communications

If you have chronic bad breath, then you know how embarrassing this problem can be. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can make simple things like having a close conversation with someone a source of embarrassment and anxiety.  

Instead of temporarily masking the odor with breath mints, gum, and other freshening products, wouldn’t you rather get to the root of this unpleasant condition and eliminate it once and for all? 

To best solve the problem, let’s first make sure you understand what’s causing bad breath.  

What Causes Halitosis? 

 The potential causes of halitosis are many and far reaching. Simple factors such as the nature of your eating habits or poor dental hygiene can lead to halitosis. Other oral health issues such as dry mouth, smoking / use of tobacco products, gum disease and tooth decay, may be the culprit. 

According to the Mayo Clinic, nose, sinus and throat issues can lead to postnasal drip which may also contribute to bad breath. Bacteria feeds on mucus your body produces when it’s battling something like a sinus infection, leaving you sniffly and stinky. 

Having chronic bad breath can also indicate a serious health problem such as gastric reflux, diabetes, or liver or kidney disease.  

How To Get Rid of Chronic Bad Breath 

Regular dental cleanings can help by removing bacteria and other substances from the mouth that can create a foul smell. 

Another step you can take is to make sure you’re practicing great oral care habits. Brushing twice a day for two minutes at a time and flossing daily will help to control bacteria in the mouth, thus controlling odor. Brush all surfaces of your teeth as well as your tongue. You can also use an interdental brush to clean hard-to-reach places.   

For that fresh mouth feel, try a toothpaste that’s approved by the American Dental Association (ADA) and is designed to combat bad breath. 

But what if you still experience symptoms despite practicing good oral hygiene?  

To find out what’s causing the problem, make an appointment with your dentist. See your dentist twice a year for a check-up, a professional cleaning with the dental hygienist, and to talk about any oral health concerns you may have. 

After examining your mouth and discussing your habits and medical history, a dental professional can give you a diagnosis and refer you to your family physician or another medical professional if necessary. 

Determining the cause of bad breath can be tricky without the help of a healthcare professional because there are multiple contributing factors. But their advice combined with your own good oral care routine should go a long way toward making your halitosis and thing of the past.  

Oral Care Center articles are reviewed by an oral health medical professional. This information is for educational purposes only. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist, physician or other qualified healthcare provider. 

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