In the absence of moisture in the mouth, odor-causing bacteria can multiply, resulting in stubborn bad breath. If the condition is not taken care of, it can grow worse. This may lead to further problems, such as cavities and gingivitis.
Oral health experts often recommend that individuals take steps to end their dry mouth before it can cause these problems. Pamela Li, an Ottawa-based dentist, said that it may be particularly important for individuals who are taking medications that cause dry mouth, as they may have a harder time maintaining good oral health and avoiding bad breath.
"If you need to take prescription medicine, you probably can't avoid dry mouth altogether. But, you must be especially diligent in having your preventive dental appointments," she said.
In addition to regular dental visits, Li recommends that individuals with dry mouth should avoid caffeinated and alcoholic beverages as well as drink plenty of water. This may stimulate the production of saliva and clean the surfaces of the mouth of odor-causing bacteria.
Specialty breath freshening products may also improve salivary function and decrease the risk of halitosis.