Everyone deals with bad breath every now and then. Thoroughly brushing and rinsing with mouthwash is usually enough to remedy the situation. However, some people find that at-home care doesn’t get rid of their bad breath. What’s the reason?
Chronic bad breath, known as halitosis, has many underlying causes. Those dealing with recurring stinky breath often search high and low for answers. All it usually takes is an exam by the best dentist near me to diagnose the root cause. Here are the most common health conditions that may cause chronic halitosis.
GERD, clinically known as gastroesophageal reflux disease, occurs whenever the contents of the stomach flow backward into the esophagus. Sufferers often experience a burning sensation in their throat or chest. Heartburn is common and may feel like a heart attack. Some sufferers also feel a lingering lump in their throat. Chronic burping is another complaint.
How does this affect a person’s breath? The painful sensations caused by GERD are due to stomach acid. This acid can be sour or bitter in taste. Unfortunately, it can also cause chronic halitosis. Luckily, there are many over-the-counter and prescription medications available to help treat the symptoms of GERD. Once the sufferer gets the disorder under control, their bad breath should also go away for good.
2. Postnasal Drip
Postnasal drip happens whenever mucus from the nose drips down the throat. While mucus itself doesn’t smell, it can trap bacteria. As the bacteria come in contact with food particles in the mouth, it produces a foul aroma. Unfortunately, this often turns into bad breath.
There are many causes of postnatal drip. People with chronic allergies may experience it daily. Taking an antihistamine should reduce this symptom and prevent halitosis. Others only develop postnatal drip following an upper-respiratory illness. Colds, flu, sinus infections, strep throat, and tonsillitis are some of the leading causes of postnatal drip. Once the infection is eliminated, the bad breath should also go away.
3. Dry Mouth
It’s common to experience dry mouth on occasion, but those with underlying health problems may develop a chronic form of it. Some autoimmune disorders, like HIV, AIDS, or Sjogren’s syndrome, may cause dry mouth. In other instances, certain medications may list dry mouth as a side effect. A few of the most common culprits include antihistamines, blood pressure medications, antidepressants, and many Alzheimer’s disease medications.
Chronic dry mouth can also lead to dental problems. Unfortunately, the mouth needs saliva to rinse away bacteria. Without enough saliva, teeth become more prone to decay and cavities. As bacteria continue to accumulate, bad breath will also form. Addressing dry mouth is the only way to prevent these issues.
Diabetes is a dangerous disease. Type 1 diabetes occurs whenever a person’s pancreas produces little to no insulin. It’s usually diagnosed in childhood, which is why it’s also called juvenile diabetes. Type 2 diabetes forms later in life. It occurs whenever a person’s body becomes insulin-resistant. Both can be life-threatening, and both may also cause chronic halitosis.
Why are diabetes and bad breath related? Diabetes often increases glucose levels in the mouth. This creates the perfect environment for bacteria to grow and thrive. Diabetes also impairs the immune system, making it more difficult for the body to fight bacteria. As a result, bad breath forms. Getting sugar levels under control will help improve a person’s breath.
Treat Bad Breath from the Inside
While garlic and onions may cause temporary bad breath, more chronic forms are usually due to an underlying health problem. If left untreated, halitosis may eventually lead to tooth decay or gum disease. It’s crucial to work with both a doctor and a dentist to determine the underlying cause of your bad breath.