Halitosis is described as persistent, unpleasant breath odors. This is a common problem that can be frustrating for those who experience it. Although poor dental care is the most common culprit, there are many other habits and health conditions that can lead to halitosis. Here's an overview that explains everything you need to know to treat your symptoms and eliminate bad breath.

What Causes Chronic Bad Breath?

There are many factors that can influence your breath. Poor dental care, for example, can allow bacteria and food particles to accumulate and break down in the mouth. Bacteria form plaque, which can harden into tartar and eventually cause gingivitis and gum disease, which both cause bad breath.

Regularly eating pungent foods like garlic and onions may result in halitosis. Their byproducts get absorbed into the bloodstream and carried into the lungs, giving breath an unpleasant smell. Tobacco products also create foul odors and increase the risk of developing gum disease.

Certain health conditions and medications may also be the root of the issue. Sinus infections, liver and kidney diseases, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and gastrointestinal problems can lead to bad breath. Dry mouth, characterized by a lack of saliva, is a common side effect of many prescription medications and also results in unpleasant odors. Other medications release odors into the breath as they break down.

How Is It Treated?

dental care

If you're uncertain of whether you face this issue, ask a trusted friend or relative for their honest opinion. Since this may be a sensitive topic, you can test for halitosis yourself by licking the inside of the wrist and sniffing it. If you detect this problem only after eating, flossing and brushing the teeth may eliminate the odor.

To prevent chronic halitosis, particularly if you have health conditions that require medications, practice good dental hygiene. Avoid tobacco and drink water throughout the day to wash down food particles. Brush your teeth twice daily for at least two minutes, and floss once a day. Replace your toothbrush every three months. Also, visit a dentist twice a year for thorough teeth cleanings and examinations. If the professional detects dental problems that cause bad breath, such as dry mouth or gum disease, they will begin treatment right away.

If you need help treating halitosis, turn to the knowledgeable team at Four Corners Dental Group. With offices in Wasilla and Anchorage, AK, this practice will offer solutions to help you feel confident about your smile. They also provide comprehensive dental care, including restorative and cosmetic dentistry, to keep your pearly whites healthy. Learn more about their services online. Call (907) 258-3384 to schedule an appointment at their Anchorage office, or (907) 376-2790 to reach the Wasilla location.