Bad breath is something that everyone experiences at one time or another, but most of the time it is a short-term problem that is treatable. Bad breath that is not short-term and does not go away is called chronic bad breath. Chronic bad breath may be caused by an underlying health issue such as stomach problems, gingivitis, tooth decay or respiratory tract infections to name a few. This article helps to explain the causes, symptoms, treatment and prevention of chronic bad breath.
Causes of Chronic Bad Breath may Include:
- Stomach problems
- Tooth decay
- Respiratory tract infections
- Poor oral hygiene
The Causes of Chronic Bad Breath
There are a number of factors that can cause chronic bad breath, most of which stem from health issues. The best way to truly identify the source of chronic bad breath is to visit a dentist or doctor for a professional diagnosis. A device the dentist may use to measure the level of bad breath is a halimeter. The halimeter uses a sample of your breath to measure the level of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs), which is the bacteria that creates the bad breath odor. Click here to learn more about bad breath.
When ready to tackle the problem of chronic bad breath, be sure to be open and honest with the medical professional performing the examination. Many people do not report the problem and make it difficult for specialists to pinpoint the exact reason of chronic bad breath. It is important for the dentist or doctor to understand all the health problems being experienced in order to determine the bad breath cause and provide the appropriate treatment.
Bad Breath from the Mouth
The most obvious source of chronic bad breath is the mouth. The mouth is the center of a complex mix of bacteria that hides in crevices of the tongue, gums, and teeth. In order to grow and continue living, bacteria must feed. In the mouth, bad breath bacteria are able to feed on food particles left in the mouth. Without getting rid of the food particles and ultimately bacteria, chronic bad breath arises. The chemical byproducts (VSCs) that bacteria produce after feeding on leftover food in the mouth leaves a bad odor on the breath.
There are an overwhelming number of cases in which food and bacteria are the culprit for regular bad breath 90 percent to be exact. However, food particles that are the cause of regular bad breath, can be resolved by simply following proper oral hygiene such as brushing, flossing and using alcohol free mouthwash.
Chronic Bad Breath
Chronic bad breath, on the other hand, is a more serious issue that often is a combination of both bad oral hygiene and an underlying medical issue. Like ordinary bad breath, chronic bad breath may begin with leftover food particles in the mouth that combine with the complex mix of bacteria to result in the growth of pockets of plaque over time between the teeth and gums. Oral diseases such as periodontal disease and cavities are then the result. Unclean dentures, cracked fillings, tonsils with trapped food particles, and gum disease can also cause chronic bad breath.
In addition to food particles and bacteria, if you have chronic bad breath, it may also be combined with underlying medical problems. Chronic bronchitis, respiratory tract infections, liver disease, or diabetes may cause the halitosis. Sometimes it can be something as simple as acid reflux causing chronic bad breath. Another issue that is commonly overlooked is dry mouth. A dry mouth does not allows the mouth to flush out bad breath bacteria and may be caused by using a mouthwash with alcohol, drinking too much alcohol and not drinking enough water. Click here to learn more about dry mouth.
Symptoms of Chronic Bad Breath
Chronic bad breath will result in a bad mouth odor that does not dissipate after basic treatment. You may be able to detect the odor yourself or it may take another person informing you of the odor. Another symptom of chronic bad breath is the continued existence of a foul odor coming from the mouth after brushing, flossing, and rinsing of the mouth with an alcohol free mouthwash. You may also experience a bad taste in the mouth and see a yellow or white film on the tongue.
Treatment of Chronic Bad Breath
It is important to acknowledge and actively pursue treatment of chronic bad breath. Many patients may have bad breath for 15 to 20 years before seeing a doctor, which is far to long to go suffer with halitosis. Proper diagnosis of chronic bad breath is the first step toward proper treatment and visiting a dentist or doctor is the best way to get diagnosed. TheraBreath® has created a complete line of products to help treat and prevent chronic halitosis, such as the extra strengthTheraBreath PLUS Oral Rinse which is alcohol free and extra strength TheraBreath PLUSToothpaste which is known to keep the breath fresh even with the most stubborn cases of chronic bad breath. When working towards eliminating bad breath, it is important to avoid mints that are high in sugar. This type of product will increase dry mouth syndrome.
Prevention of Bad Breath
Good oral hygiene is the key to combating bad breath. The moment chronic bad breath is apparent, you should see a doctor to get a proper diagnosis and begin an oral health treatment regimen. In addition to good oral hygiene, knowing the root cause may be able to help stop it before it starts. Brush regularly, floss daily, and ensure that the mouthwash you use is alcohol free. These are the basic steps to take in preventing chronic bad breath.