What Your Chronic Bad Breath May Be Telling You

Bad breath is often chalked up to poor oral hygiene. Though occasionally having lousy breath is harmless, chronic bad breath is a common dental condition called halitosis. 


Halitosis isn’t merely a source of discomfort and embarrassment; it may also be indicative of underlying health issues, particularly those associated with your oral health. 


To get to the root of your persistent bad breath, you need to consult with Dr. Wenli Loo and Dr. Steve Deng at LivWell Dentistry in San Francisco and San Ramon, California. 


As expert and experienced dentists, they'll not only identify the cause of your chronic bad breath, but they'll also effectively treat any oral health concerns that may be responsible.


In this post, they discuss both the causes and remedies for chronic bad breath.

Understanding chronic bad breath

Bad breath can originate from different sources, including these common culprits:

Oral hygiene and gum disease

Inadequate or inconsistent brushing and flossing can cause food particles to become trapped in your teeth and decompose. This can significantly contribute to bad breath. 

In addition, poor oral hygiene can lead to the buildup of plaque and tartar, which can cause bad breath. Plaque buildup can also trigger the development of more severe issues like periodontitis, which can worsen bad breath.

Dry mouth (xerostomia)

Saliva is essential for cleaning your mouth and neutralizing plaque-producing acids. Without enough saliva, bacteria can thrive, causing bad breath.

Xerostomia is a condition that causes a decrease in saliva production and can lead to dry mouth. Various factors, including certain medications and medical conditions, chemotherapy, and dehydration, can bring on this condition. 

Lifestyle factors

Smoking or chewing tobacco significantly affects your oral health and the quality of your breath. Consuming certain foods, especially those high in sugars and acids and odorous foods like garlic and onions, also contribute to bad breath. Extreme diets, especially those low in carbohydrates, can cause a condition known as "keto breath."

Medical conditions

Sometimes, bad breath can be a sign of medical conditions like respiratory tract infections, chronic sinusitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal issues, or liver and kidney diseases.

Identifying the root cause 

At LivWell Dentistry, we specialize in diagnosing the underlying causes of bad breath. Our providers will check your teeth and gums for any signs of decay, gum disease, or oral health issues.

We will also review your medical history to understand your overall health, and we’ll talk with you about any medications you’re taking. This helps us identify any possible causes for your chronic bad breath that may be linked to your general well-being. 

We may recommend specific tests that diagnose conditions like xerostomia or other less common causes.

Treatment for chronic bad breath 

Once we identify the cause, we tackle your bad breath in many ways:

Improved oral hygiene

Effective brushing twice daily, flossing, and using mouthwash can significantly improve your oral health and breath. Regular cleanings in our office will assure the removal of plaque and tartar, reducing bad breath.

Managing dry mouth

Increasing your water intake is crucial for those suffering from dry mouth. Sugar-free gum or lozenges can help stimulate saliva production, while using humidifiers at night can relieve dryness.

Lifestyle changes

Smoking cessation is vital not only for your dental health but also for your overall health. If you're struggling with quitting, consult your healthcare provider, who can provide more resources and support. 

Changing your diet to avoid odor-causing foods and adopting a balanced diet can also make a big difference.

Consistent dental check-ups, a balanced diet, proper hydration, and good oral hygiene practices are essential in preventing bad breath. However, if you've developed chronic bad breath, you shouldn't ignore it, as it often points to deeper oral health issues. 

At LivWell Dentistry, we can help you achieve and easily maintain fresh breath and your oral health. Schedule your appointment with us online, or call 415-477-3700.

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