Halitosis, the proper term for bad breath, is a common enough problem, and sometimes mouthwash or breath mints can take care of it. Bad breath that is the result of food or beverages should not be confused with bad breath that comes from poor oral health. Chronic bad breath that keeps coming back could be a sign of oral health problems, particularly gum disease.
What causes bad breath?
- Spicy foods and certain beverages like coffee can linger on your breath. A quick brushing of your teeth, using mouthwash or chewing sugarless gum can usually eliminate this type of bad breath. Sugarless breath mints work too, but chewing gum is better because it stimulates saliva production and helps to wash away food particles.
- We are also all familiar with “morning breath”, which builds up while we sleep, and bad breath can often accompany illness, like a cold.
- Healthy people should not have bad breath most of the time. If you find yourself with bad breath later in the day and not related to food, beverage or illness, you may have gum disease.
How can you get rid of chronic bad breath?
Treatment for chronic bad breath involves treating the source. If you have gum disease, bacteria are causing an infection of your gums. The bacteria are able to do this by feeding on sugars that are left behind when you brush your teeth.
If you don’t floss, it is all the more likely that some food particles will be missed. Even people who brush and floss regularly may get gum disease through heredity or as a side effect of illness or medications.
Gum disease is very common, but gum disease treatment is relatively easy if the problem is caught early. Later on it becomes a bit more difficult, but getting treatment for gum disease at any stage is critical to maintain good oral health.
Get better breath and a healthier mouth
Healthy gums are pink. If your gums are reddened or swollen, or if they bleed when you brush, there’s a good chance you have gum disease. A visit to our Milwaukee dentist can diagnose gum disease and treat it with a dental cleaning. If it’s caught early, a simple cleaning is all that is required to stop gum disease and get your gums back to good health. If the early form of gum disease, gingivitis, has advanced to the more serious form, periodontitis, then a deep cleaning to remove plaque and tartar from beneath the gum line is necessary.
If you have chronic bad breath, please contact us to schedule an examination. Gum disease that is left untreated can cause you to lose your teeth, so, for your breath, your smile and your whole mouth, you should have regular dental checkups twice a year.