Chronic bad breath, fetor oris, or halitosis, has a personal and social stigma, and should be taken seriously. Sufferers have to live with the embarrassment that can result from unintentionally offending others, while those on the receiving end walk away with an unpleasant memory that is unlikely to go away.
In most cases, bad breath is transient. It can be dealt with through general oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing and rinsing with mouthwash. Bad breath often dissipates after a meal. That is not the case with a chronic condition.
Chronic bad breath affects almost of a quarter of the population and typical methods for dealing with normal bad breath aren’t effective.
In most cases, this condition is the result of oral bacteria. It is believed unpleasant odors are the result of proteins trapped inside the mouth, producing high levels of foul stench. The tongue is an ideal habitat for bacteria. Bacteria breed under the coating, creating odors that escape whenever the mouth opens. Much of this bacteria is found at the back of the tongue where they are known to sit and multiply undisturbed for long periods of time. Due to the tongue’s dryness and the fact that most people do not properly clean the area, bacteria can thrive on everything from food deposit remnants to post-nasal drip and dead skin cells.
Studies have shown certain medical conditions can cause chronic bad breath.
● There is a rare type of bad breath that is caused by chronic liver failure and liver disease.
● Bodily failures associated with kidney infection and failure, cancer and other metabolic dysfunction can create foul odors in the mouth.
● With a lack of insulin regulating sugar, diabetes is cited as a cause of chronic bad breath.
● Lung infections can lower respiratory tracts and create bronchial infections.
It should be noted that these situations are rare and having chronic bad breath does not mean someone suffers from any of the above.
Treating Chronic Bad Breath
As there can be any number of reasons for the condition, there is no one-stop solution for this ailment. In some cases, the use of antibiotics may be administered. Another patient might simply need to follow a specific oral hygiene regimen. There might be procedures involving deep cleaning and scaling. Regular visits to your dentist or periodontist will definitely be a part of any treatment.
If you want to know more about oral health, chronic bad breath treatment or any matter regarding the mouth, and you’re in the Guelph or surrounding Ontario area, Dr. Urszula Barrios is ready to provide the counsel and treatment you need. Contact our office and speak with a professional to learn more.