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Bad breath can be embarrassing. If it is persistent, it can also indicate a serious oral health problem. If you find that you often have bad breath, stop reaching for the gum and mint—reach out to a dentist.

Is my Bad Breath a Problem?

Consider three main factors:

  • Frequency—mouth odor following meals or a night of sleep is normal. If you experience bad breath around the clock, it's time to speak to a professional.
  • Persistence—brushing and flossing can quickly eliminate bad breath if you have a healthy smile. However, if it persists even after cleaning your teeth, this indicates a problem.
  • Reactions—if anyone feels compelled to actually tell you that your breath is offensive, and you're pretty sure it's not due to the garlic bread you had for lunch, something else may be at work.

Why do I Always have Bad Breath?

Ask Yourself:

  • Do I neglect to brush and floss as recommended?
  • Do I frequently have a dry mouth?
  • Am I overdue for a dental checkup or medical exam?  

If you answered yes to any of these questions, you may need a doctors attention.

Causes of Bad Breath

  • Gum Disease—gum disease and plaque buildup are very common causes of persistent bad breath. Poor oral hygiene, tobacco use, and genetics can all contribute to these conditions.
  • Dehydration—Inadequate water intake, breathing through your mouth, certain medications, and living in a dry climate can all cause dry mouth, which can often result in bad breath.
  • Other Health—issues Acid reflux, infections in the oral cavity, and inflammation of the ear canals, sinuses, and throat can lead to chronic bad breath. Some cancers can also result in a foul mouth odor.

Visit a dental professional to check your oral hygiene. If this is found to be fine, referral to a specialist ear, nose and throat doctor may prove beneficial.

Dr. Martin Scurr, The Daily Mail

Bad Breath is Usually Preventable


Neglecting to floss can place you at much greater risk of gum disease and bad breath. Tongue scrapers can also  eliminate bacteria that cause mouth odors.

Attend Regular Checkups

By attending checkups at least every six months and establishing ongoing care with a general physician, your doctors can detect and treat conditions that cause bad breath in the earliest stages.

Stay Hydrated

This one sounds obvious, but it is easy to forget to drink plenty of water throughout the day.

Check your Meds

If you have begun to experience a dry mouth after starting to take a medication, let your physician know.

How will a Doctor Determine if my Breath is a Serious Issue?

A simple checkup can tell a detailed story.

A standard exam by a dentist can quickly reveal gum disease, plaque, or other issues causing bad breath. A routine physical exam by your general practitioner can also reveal any conditions that might be contributing to bad breath. If necessary, your doctor can refer you to a specialist who can provide further analysis.

John F. Rink DDS, AAACD

So how Can I Get Rid of Bad Breath?

The solution can usually be quite simple:

  • Dental Cleaning—a routine cleaning can freshen your breath considerably, and allow you to start a more disciplined daily oral hygiene routine. Active treatment of gum disease or an infection in the oral cavity can eventually eliminate halitosis.
  • Healthy Choices—healthy lifestyle choices can improve your breath significantly. Brush after meals, floss at least once per day, drink plenty of water, and if you use tobacco, kick the habit.
  • Strategic Care—if your breath is indicative of a more complex health issue, your doctor can create a treatment plan to resolve the condition.

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