What is Halitosis – Causes, Diagnosis, and Treatments Revealed
Waking up with bad breath in the morning may be considered the great equalizer. But what does it mean when a thorough brushing or the use of mouthwash can’t get rid of bad breath? Persistent, chronic bad breath can ruin your self-esteem and make social interactions fraught with embarrassment. If you’ve done everything you can think of to get rid of bad breath but are still coming up short, you might have a condition called halitosis.
What is halitosis?
Halitosis is chronic bad breath. Unlike the usual bad breath people get when they wake up in the morning, or after they eat a pungent meal, halitosis lingers. It can indicate something more serious is going on.
What are the symptoms of halitosis?
The main symptom of halitosis is bad breath that lingers or recurs despite a thorough brushing or the use of breath mints and mouthwashes. Other symptoms include:
- A white coating on the tongue, especially near the back
- Post-nasal drip
- Thick saliva
- A constant need to clear your throat
- A constant sour or bitter metallic taste in your mouth
- Buildup around the teeth
What causes halitosis?
Several things can cause halitosis, some more serious than others.
Coffee and alcohol
Both coffee and alcohol deplete the mouth of saliva, which helps flush out oral bacteria and keeps it from building up and causing odors.
Smoking and chewing tobacco will leave behind bad smells, but they also cause gum and tooth decay. These issues can lead to a build-up of odor-causing bacteria.
Acid reflux, nausea and vomiting, and other gastrointestinal issues can cause halitosis.
Mouth, nose, and throat infections
Bacterial and viral infections can also cause lingering, bad breath, and halitosis.
Serious health conditions
Certain kidney, liver, and oral cancers can cause halitosis.
How is halitosis treated?
Treating halitosis comes down to fixing the underlying cause of chronic bad breath. For most people, keeping hydrated is the key. We also recommend avoiding food, drinks, and products which can cause dry mouth will eliminate halitosis. Some people may have to take prescription medications which cause dry mouth, contributing to bad breath. It’s a good idea to stay hydrated and drink lots of water to flush out oral bacteria, protect the teeth and gums, and eliminate bad breath. For others, the cause of their halitosis is underlying issues with the gums or teeth. Should it be the latter, and other treatments listed aren’t helping, we advise for you to contact your dentist.
Regent Dental can help with halitosis
Here at Regent Avenue Dental Centre, we’ve been helping patients restore gum and tooth health, and eliminate their halitosis for good. Our trained staff can help identify the cause of persistent, chronic bad breath and provide a plan to remedy the situation. Contact our office today to set up an appointment with one of our experienced dental hygienists in Winnipeg.