Bad breath (halitosis) can happen to anyone. According to the American Dental Association, as many as half of all adults suffer from bad breath at any given time. There are several factors that can contribute to the onset of bad breath, many of which are typically harmless and temporary. But chronic bad breath can also be a condition of poor oral hygiene and tooth decay, which can lead to gum disease and health complications if left untreated.
The dentists at the Lynch Dental Center in Chicago and River Forest, IL recommend regular dental exams and professional cleanings (every six months for most adults) in order to maintain healthy teeth and gums. These cleaning can also help prevent periodontal problems with symptoms that can range from bad breath, gingivitis, inflammation and even tooth loss in advanced cases.
Common Causes of Bad Breath
Poor oral hygiene, diet and smoking are among the most common causes of bad breath. While certain foods like onions, garlic and strong spices like curry are notorious for lingering on the breath, poor oral hygiene allows decaying food and bacteria to proliferate between the teeth and gums, increasing the chances of halitosis whether you skip the onions or not. Brushing twice a day and flossing daily helps to maintain clean, fresh breath and prevent tooth decay and gum disease.
Other potential causes of halitosis include:
- Chronic dry mouth (saliva helps to clear the teeth and gums of odor and dental plaque causing bacteria)
- Side effect of certain medications
- Oral infections
- Sinus and upper respiratory infections
In rare cases, serious illnesses like metabolic disorders and cancer can release chemical compounds that result in bad breath.
Find a Dentist in Chicago and River Forest, IL
Chronic bad breath can be a symptom of poor oral health or an underlying health condition. For more information on the causes, prevention and treatment options for bad breath and gum disease, contact the Lynch Dental Center to schedule an appointment for an oral exam and professional dental cleaning in Chicago and River Forest, IL today.