Everyone experiences normal and expected bouts of bad breath, but there are many people who suffer from a more severe condition of bad breath called halitosis. The condition can be temporary or it can be a chronic condition. For chronic sufferers, the condition can lead to embarrassing moments of bad breath that can be very offensive to others. Learn about the causes of halitosis and how it can be treated in this article.

What causes halitosis?

There are a number of causes for halitosis, with some of the more common causes being one or more of the following:

  • A lack of proper dental hygiene, including improper care of dentures
  • A side effect of certain medications
  • Nicotine use
  • Poor diet, including a diet that is too low in carbohydrates
  • Gastrointestinal problems
  • Illnesses such as diabetes and sinusitis
  • An infection in your mouth
  • Cavities

How is halitosis treated?

If you feel you have a problem with chronic halitosis, you want to start by going to the dentist. They will give you an oral exam and ask you questions about other symptoms and your lifestyle. This will help them determine the cause of your halitosis and the proper course of treatment. Generally, treating halitosis consists of treating the underlying issue.

Your dentist (such as James Tritton DDS PC) will more than likely want to begin a treatment plan with a professional cleaning. This will remove excess plaque and bacteria, cutting down on at least some of the reason for bad breath. Also, the dentist will want you to address all other causes of your halitosis. This may mean a change in diet, treatment for dental issues, receiving education on proper oral care and/or seeing your regular physician to treat any medical conditions or see about changes in medication.

How can you prevent halitosis?

You may not always be able to prevent halitosis, but you may be able to decrease your chances of developing it by following a few simple tips. You want to make sure you follow a healthy diet, don't use nicotine products, follow good oral hygiene habits and make sure you get in to see your dentist for your regularly scheduled appointments and cleanings. Drinking a lot of water will help produce more saliva, which can also help decrease your chances of developing halitosis.

Once you get your halitosis under control, you will have more confidence knowing your bad breath isn't going to put you in embarrassing situations.