Chronic bad breath can cause many negative impacts on the daily life and communication of patients. To eliminate this condition simply, it is essential to understand the root causes of the disease and then apply the correct treatment method. In the following article, we have compiled some basic knowledge about this condition. Please read on for more information.
Overview of chronic bad breath
Chronic bad breath is a condition where a foul-smelling breath persists and cannot be improved by temporary treatments such as mouthwash or regular brushing. The odor of bad breath varies from person to person depending on the underlying causes. However, most people can recognize the unpleasant smell in their breath when hungry or after waking up.
In addition, patients may experience bleeding gums while brushing or flossing, and their saliva tends to turn dark brown. To completely treat chronic bad breath, long-term treatment methods should be applied.
According to experts, to determine if you have severe bad breath, you can check by blowing your breath into a cup and smelling it. Additionally, you can use a stainless steel spoon to gently scrape your tongue surface. If there is an unpleasant odor and white buildup, it means you have bad breath.
The question of whether chronic bad breath is dangerous is also one of the concerns of many people with oral health problems. In general, chronic bad breath does not directly affect health, but it causes many difficulties in communication and daily life.
Therefore, if you feel that you have bad breath or suspect that you have bad breath, you should seek medical advice to promptly implement remedies. Avoid prolonging this condition, as it can cause many difficulties in treatment.
Common causes of chronic bad breath
Similar to temporary bad breath, chronic bad breath is caused by the sulfur-producing activity of bacteria in the mouth. Specifically, sulfur is a volatile compound, which means that it will emit an unpleasant odor during breathing and communication, causing significant confidence issues. The causes of increased sulfur production in the mouth are diverse, but chronic bad breath may be caused by:
Chronic dental problems
Statistics show that more than 90% of chronic bad breath cases are related to dental issues, with dental diseases being the most common cause. Specifically, bad breath that persists for a long time is often caused by tooth decay, periodontitis, or gum inflammation.
Oral diseases often occur when bacteria overgrow and attack gum tissues, causing pain, inflammation, and infection. At the same time, bacterial overgrowth also increases the amount of sulfur gas in the oral cavity, producing an unpleasant odor. For individuals with periodontitis, bacteria can develop in periodontal pockets and produce fluids and pus, which accumulate a large number of bacteria and dead cells that cause an unpleasant odor.
In addition to overall health issues, long-term smoking can also lead to chronic bad breath. Specifically, the harmful chemicals in cigarette smoke can interrupt saliva production, leading to dry mouth. A decrease in saliva production creates a favorable environment for bacteria to grow in the throat, tongue, gums, and teeth, producing an unpleasant odor that affects communication.
Nicotine in cigarette smoke causes blood vessels to constrict, reduces immunity, and increases the risk of dental diseases such as gum recession, tooth decay, and periodontitis. These are all diseases that can cause yellowing, bad breath, and dull teeth. Moreover, long-term smokers have a lower tooth lifespan, making their teeth more prone to shaking and weakening.
Due to Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic digestive problem that is quite common in middle-aged and elderly people. This condition often occurs when the esophageal valve weakens, causing food in the stomach to reflux up into the esophagus and mouth. When food mixes with stomach acid, an unpleasant odor is produced, causing both the mouth and breath to smell.
In addition, the constant regurgitation of food also changes the oral environment, creating conditions for bacteria to grow and produce sulfur gas. In addition to bad breath, this condition also increases the risk of tooth decay, discoloration, yellowing, tonsillitis, and pharyngitis. However, GERD is a chronic disease that is difficult to completely cure. The symptoms can be controlled through medication and lifestyle adjustments.
Chronic Respiratory Diseases
In addition to chronic dental diseases, long-term bad breath can also be caused by chronic respiratory diseases such as tonsil stones, tonsillitis, laryngitis, sinusitis, and bronchitis. These diseases increase respiratory secretions, which flow down into the throat, creating conditions for bacteria to grow, develop, and release sulfur gas.
For those with tonsil stones, the mouth often has a very unpleasant odor due to bacteria residing in the crevices of the tonsils along with excess food and dead cells. To improve the unpleasant odor caused by chronic respiratory diseases that have lasted for many years, treatment is needed to reduce the symptoms.
In addition, long-term bad breath can also occur due to systemic diseases such as diabetes or problems related to the liver and kidneys. These diseases can cause the body to produce ketones from the breakdown of fatty tissues. However, this situation is also very rare.
Here are some tips for treating long-term bad breath
- Practice good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss once a day, and use a tongue scraper to remove bacteria from your tongue.
- Use mouthwash: Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to kill the bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Drink plenty of water: Drinking water helps keep your mouth moist and prevents the buildup of bacteria.
- Avoid smoking and tobacco use: Smoking and tobacco use are major causes of bad breath and can lead to other oral health problems.
- Limit alcohol and caffeine consumption: Alcohol and caffeine can cause dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath.
- Treat any underlying health conditions: If your bad breath is caused by an underlying health condition, such as gum disease or sinusitis, treating that condition can help alleviate your bad breath.
- Visit your dentist regularly: Regular dental checkups and cleanings can help prevent and treat bad breath, as well as identify any underlying oral health problems.
Remember, if your bad breath persists despite these measures, it’s important to consult with your dentist or doctor to rule out any underlying health issues.
Some tips to remember to avoid long-term bad breath
To prevent chronic bad breath, there are some tips to keep in mind. If your bad breath is not caused by an underlying medical condition, you can take some measures to prevent the disease from recurring and improve your breath freshness.
About dental hygiene
Regarding oral hygiene, according to dental specialists, it is recommended to brush your teeth at least 1-2 times a day, and it is essential to do so if you want to have fresh breath and healthy teeth. Therefore, after each meal for about 30 minutes, you should brush your teeth for about 2 minutes to remove food debris and plaque in your mouth. This will help prevent the growth of bad breath-causing bacteria.
In addition, using dental floss is also very beneficial for oral health. Specifically, the interdental spaces are cleaned safely, thereby avoiding bad breath caused by food residue effectively.
Moreover, you can also use recommended mouthwashes or physiological saline solution to thoroughly clean the oral cavity. There are currently many types of fruit-scented mouthwashes on the market that you can use.
Eliminating bad habits
Bad breath can only be completely eliminated if the patient eliminates the habit of smoking, not using coffee, stimulants or soda. They are not only good for health but also help to eliminate bad breath.
Furthermore, to keep the mouth from drying out, you need to ensure that you consume enough water for your body every day. Also, chewing sugar-free gum helps to effectively activate salivary glands. Especially for people with chronic dry mouth, dentists may prescribe artificial saliva or a medication to stimulate saliva production.
A scientific diet for people with bad breath is extremely necessary. Because this disease is caused by many factors, typically food. Therefore, you need to pay attention to adjust some issues as follows:
- Do not eat heavily flavored foods such as onions, garlic, shrimp paste, … or foods that contain a lot of sugar that make the breath smell worse.
- Tough meats are likely to get stuck in the teeth, difficult to remove, and cause unpleasant bad breath as well as tooth decay. Therefore, you need to pay attention to adjust your diet.
- Avoid eating too many fruits and vegetables that leave a long-lasting odor in the mouth such as carrots, pickles, pickled onions, durian, … Because when digesting these foods, they will soak into the stomach and cause bad breath through the breath.
- In addition, you also need to pay attention to supplement foods that can freshen your breath and support the treatment of chronic bad breath, including fragrant vegetables, fruits with lots of vitamin C, …
The above is all the basic knowledge about chronic bad breath that readers can refer to. I hope this article has provided you with useful knowledge in taking care of your oral hygiene. Additionally, if you have any questions or concerns that you want to be addressed, please leave a message below the article.
John Alen was born in 1971 and is a doctor in the healthcare and psychology fields with many years of experience. He is currently working at easyhealthylive.com, a leading health and psychology blog. Having studied at Y1 National Medical University named after IM Sechenov, John Alen is using his knowledge and experience to help improve the physical and mental health of people in the United States.