Do you find yourself popping breath mints or gum in your mouth constantly? If you struggle with halitosis, or bad breath, there could be an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. We’ve covered common bad breath cures here. Start with these common solutions, but if you’re still plagued by bad breath, it’s time to consider an underlying cause.
Eliminate Common Sources
Sometimes halitosis, or bad breath, has a fairly clear source. Consider these common sources of bad breath before investigating something more serious.
- Poor dental hygiene: brush, floss, and clean your tongue regularly.
- Dry mouth: saliva plays an important role in breaking down food and reducing bacteria growth. Make sure you drink plenty of fluids and treat causes of dry mouth.
- Diet: Eliminate common culprits such as garlic, onion, coffee, curries, and highly refined, sugary foods.
- Smoking: cigarettes, tobacco, and marijuana not only make your breath foul, they lead to more bacterial growth in the mouth which also causes bad breath.
Investigate your Medicine Cabinet
Certain drugs can cause halitosis as a side effect. Sometimes this is a direct result from the chemical reactions they make in your body. Other times, medications can simply cause dry mouth which leads to bacteria build-up, inflamed gums, and bad breath. Talk with your doctor to see if you have any other options for medication which do not negatively impact your dental health.
Diseases and Cancers
Some diseases and cancers, especially metabolic disorders, can present as persistent bad breath. If you think there is a chance you have a disease, be sure to talk with your doctor and include persistent halitosis as one of your symptoms. Diabetes can also cause a distinctive, sickly sweet smell. Poorly functioning kidneys or livers can also change your breath.
Digestive Issues and Disorders
GERD and Bulimia can also give you bad breath. The persistence of gastric juices in your mouth can dry it out, make it easy for bacteria to grow, and leave behind a foul odor.
While this is most common in children who stick toys and other foreign bodies in their nose, if there is a persistent bad breath issue you should consider whether it is possible that there is something stuck in your nose. A foreign body can cause infection, and the body creates a lot of mucus to help break down the object and dislodge it. Since your nose does not have a lot of nerve endings in the nasal passages, it may be difficult for you to feel the object if it is small. Your doctor or dentist can X-ray the area to get a better picture and determine if there is something stuck in your nose.
There may be an underlying medical or situational cause that’s preventing you from clearing up bad breath. If you have persistent bad breath, it’s important to let your doctor and dentist know. Bad breath can be an early warning sign of many serious diseases and conditions. The sooner you let your dentist know, the sooner they can work with you to determine the underlying cause.