Wearing masks and practicing social distancing are important health safety measures for 2020. As well as being tools in the fight against Covid-19, an unexpected side effect is being distanced from others’ bad breath! But what if you’re the source? Masking bad breath doesn’t make it go away, it’s important to determine if underlying health issues aren’t at play.
What Is Halitosis?
If you have bad breath for an extended period of time that doesn’t go away with good tooth brushing and flossing, gargling with mouthwash, or even popping a breath mint, you may have halitosis.
What Can Cause Halitosis?
There are several possible sources of chronic bad breath:
Cavities & Gum Disease
Cavities and pockets in gum tissues can conceal bacteria, giving them a hiding place in your mouth that can’t easily be reached by tooth cleaning.
The Mayo Clinic advises that nose, sinus, and throat issues can lead to postnatal drip and, subsequently, bad breath. Bacteria love mucus which is abundant when fighting a sinus infection.
If your mouth doesn’t make enough saliva, you are left without a source to adequately break-down and rinse food particles from your mouth when eating, leading to potential cavities and infections. Whether a result of medication, alcohol, or tobacco use, or too much caffeine, a lack of saliva can lead to halitosis.
Other possible causes
Although halitosis is often a result of something occurring in your mouth or with your teeth, other conditions can also be the source such as gastric reflux, diabetes, liver, or kidney disease.
There are some simple steps to get a handle on bad breath – brushing at least twice daily and flossing at least once a day, drinking water to rinse your mouth after eating and to rehydrate your mouth, chewing sugarless gum with the ADA Seal of Acceptance, and cutting back on any excessive caffeine or alcohol intake. If it’s been a while since you’ve last had a dental check-up and health screening, contact our office at 248.852.3130.