Halitosis is the technical term for bad breath. It can refer to the occasional bad breath that we have all gotten after our morning coffee or our overload on garlic bread. It can also refer to the chronic bad breath that occurs that could be signaling to a serious problem. So, how do you know when your bad breath is innocuous or when it is a sign of trouble? How do you know when to just chew some gum or mints? How do you know when to talk to your dentist?
Ruling out some lifestyle contenders
Most bad breath is simply caused by lifestyle. If you drink or eat stinky food and drinks, it can stay in your mouth for awhile. If you smoke cigarettes, it can cause some stinky breath. Morning breath is common for people. If you think your breath may be caused by your lifestyle, you can cover it up. Brushing and flossing more frequently may be helpful. If you smoke cigarettes, quitting will be helpful for your breath and your health.
Some medicine causes dry mouth. Dry mouth limits the saliva that rinses away smelly bacteria. Dry mouth can contribute to health problems, so if you feel you have chronic dry mouth, you should talk to your dentist.
Sinus infections and even seasonal allergies can cause bad breath. If you have recently suffered either of those or the cold or flu, that might be causing your bad breath.
If you have chronic bad breath, it may be the result of something wrong inside your mouth. Gum disease is a leading cause of halitosis. An infected tooth or cavity can cause your breath to smell a little off. If you notice that your breath is bad for more than a few weeks despite a lack of a contributing lifestyle factors, you should see your dentist. Dental problems can be better treated when caught early.
Bad breath may be your body’s way of telling you something is wrong
Learn more about the many causes of bad breath. Schedule a consultation with Dr. Fondriest if you think your bad breath is a sign of something serious. Call Lake Forest Dental Arts at (847) 234-0517. We welcome patients from the North Shore area of Chicago.