We all suffer at some point from bad breath. But when it happens over and over, and becomes a habit, this could be chronic halitosis. Halitosis is a condition that leads to bad breath, and it affects more than 80 million people around the world! It starts with the tongue and gums. In most cases it is caused by a lack of dental hygiene, but a contributing factor can be gum disease and lack of proper dental care.

The unpleasant odor that comes with exhalation is the result of decomposed food particles in your mouth. This is one reason why flossing is so important! If you do not clean your teeth properly, lingering bacteria can lead to this condition. More than discomfort, this type of condition can affect us socially. From job interviews, at our place of work, spending time with friends, at meetings and even finding a partner, bad breath works against us causing stress and uncomfortable situations. However, all is not lost! This situation can be treated! How? Keep on reading to find out!

There are other factors that lead to bad breath, like:

-Chronic diseases related to liver issues, kidney failure, respiratory problems and diabetes.

-Some medications and treatments like radiotherapy in cancer patients.

-Dry mouth or xerostomia. Saliva also plays an important role in the elimination of bad breath. While you sleep, salivary glands reduce the production of saliva which helps bacteria to develop. This is why we wake up with bad breath! This is one reason why it is important to brush your teeth in the morning, and eat breakfast. An empty stomach can cause bad breath to resurface.

-Stress, hormonal changes and diet.

-Some foods like onion, garlic, coffee or spicy dishes.

-Bad habits like alcohol or cigarette can make bad breath worse.

Not all who have halitosis are dealing with a bad problem. Those with genuine halitosis have an issue caused by bacteria found below the gum line, and in the back of the tongue.

Halitosis can be an indication of periodontal disease or gum infection. This is caused by the accumulation of plaque on the teeth. However, if the disease continues without treatment, it can damage healthy gums and jaw.

Other causes of bad breath include poor fitting dental devices and untreated cavities.

Once more, I recommend timely visits to the dentist. This is the only way to prevent and cure your condition in the case of a problem. Only the dentist can identify the root of bad breath and fight it properly. Apart from this step, it is extremely important to maintain good dental hygiene.

This includes the following tips:

-Brush your teeth at least twice per day! Ideally, when you get up in the morning and after each meal. It is important to eliminate bacteria by brushing your teeth, gums, tongue and cheeks…

-Use dental floss to eliminate food particles between the teeth. You can also use special toothbrushes, water flossers or whichever one you like.

-Use mouthwash that specifically targets bacteria. Many of them only mask the bad odor for a short time.

-Drink lots of water and keep your mouth well hydrated.

-Chew gum or eat sugar free sweets. This can help control bad breath and generate more saliva in your mouth.

-If you use dentures or removable devices like a retainer or mouth guard, clean it thoroughly before placing it in your mouth.

-Replace your toothbrushes every 2 to 3 months or after an illness.

-Do annual checkups with your dentist and get your teeth cleaned thoroughly to eliminate plaque.

In the majority of cases, your dentist can treat the source of bad breath. They may determine that your mouth is healthy and the origin of the odor is not orally based. In this case, they may refer you to your family doctor to locate the source of the odor and subsequent treatment. If the odor is due to gum disease, they may refer you to a periodontist, which is a specialist in the treatment of gum disease.