What Is Halitosis?

Beautiful brunette woman with chronic bad breath, halitosis, covers her mouth with a green leaf

If you have chronic bad breath, you may be wondering if it’s halitosis. Here, we’ll explain what halitosis is, in addition to its potential causes and prevention.

What Is Halitosis?

“Halitosis” is the formal name for persistent bad breath. Beyond a bad smell in your mouth, the following conditions can accompany halitosis:

  • Sore throat
  • Swollen gums
  • Difficulty swallowing dry foods
  • Swollen lymph nodes
  • Loose teeth
  • Painful mouth sores
  • A large number of cavities

What Causes Halitosis?

Because the mouth is moist, warm, and dark, it is an ideal environment for bacteria growth. This bacteria that lives in your mouth and on your tongue can cause bad breath. So let’s dive a little deeper to understand why.

  1. Poor oral hygiene allows foul-smelling bacteria and food particles to accumulate in the nooks and crannies of your mouth. If gums have started to pull away from the teeth due to inflammation and infection, forming pockets, bacteria and food particles become even more difficult to eliminate.
  2. If you have recurrent nose, sinus, and throat infections, your stinky breath could be related to bacteria feeding off the buildup of mucus.
  3. Dry mouth (when your mouth does not produce enough saliva) could also be the cause of your bad breath, particularly if you smoke, drink a lot of alcohol, or take medications with dry mouth as a side effect. Because saliva is vital to your oral health, it’s important to drink plenty of water and regularly rinse out your mouth to get rid of leftover food particles and bacteria.
  4. Finally, it’s possible that complications with other health conditions, like diabetes, liver disease, gastric reflux, or kidney disease, could be the reason for more bacteria in your mouth and your halitosis.

How Can You Prevent Halitosis?

The best way to prevent halitosis is by practicing good oral hygiene every day at home. Brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time with a fluoridated toothpaste (remember to brush your tongue!), floss at least once a day, and visit our office for a professional cleaning every six months. A balanced diet low in sugar and refined carbohydrates and high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber is also very important to your oral health. Additionally, hydrate regularly with water, chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production, and avoid all tobacco products.

Reach Out to Our Expert Team!

For halitosis treatment, or to ensure your teeth are in tip-top shape, contact us today to schedule an appointment at Helotes Family Dentistry.

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Helotes Family Dentistry

Helotes Family Dentistry