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Bad breath announces itself to the world before you can even utter a word; if you suffer from this condition, it’s understandable that the question, “What can I do about bad breath?” has been on your mind. Oftentimes, the source of bad breath is easy to figure out: Maybe you wolfed down a delicious garlic-laden pasta dish. Or maybe you fell asleep after a night of consuming multiple cocktails without brushing your teeth. There are certain circumstances, however, where bad breath goes a lot deeper.  People who live with chronic bad breath suffer from a condition called halitosis, which is far more severe than regular bad breath.

Halitosis Can Be Embarrassing

Imagine having the worst bad breath of your life, perhaps from eating stinky food or not having brushed after a day. But even then, you know that once you’ve brushed your teeth, your breath is smelling fresh again.

For someone with halitosis, however, the suffering doesn’t end there. Regular brushing or mouthwash only briefly masks the bad odor before it comes through again. Culturally, bad breath is considered something that you should be able to control; this means that other people assume that someone with bad breath is someone who is practicing poor oral hygiene, but nothing could be further from the truth. Halitosis is different from bad breath…and it is extremely difficult to treat.

Halitosis can be extraordinarily embarrassing to the person suffering from it, affecting every aspect of their lives. Many people who suffer from halitosis end up withdrawing from society in order to avoid the embarrassment of having their halitosis exposed…which can lead to psychological and emotional problems.

Symptoms of Halitosis

There are several signs indicating that you could be suffering from halitosis; they include the following:

  • Feeling like you have a coating of thick saliva in your mouth.
  • Waking up with a burning sensation on your tongue.
  • A metallic taste in your mouth that never seems to go away.
  • Your tongue has a thick, white coating on it.
  • Extremely bad breath that doesn’t go away with mints, toothpaste or mouthwash.

Causes of Bad Breath

Halitosis has many causes; they include the following:

  • Serious dental issues, like gum disease, or poor brushing habits.
  • Smoking tobacco products.
  • Post-nasal drip, as experienced by people suffering from frequent sinus infections or other respiratory ailments.
  • Acid reflux. Diabetes sufferers often have acid reflux and post nasal drip, two of the main symptoms of halitosis.
  • Dry mouth sufferers often report halitosis. Dry mouth is usually caused by things like consuming excess alcohol, skipping meals, suffering from certain medical conditions, and taking certain medications.

Visit Your Dentist

Once you realize you have halitosis, the next step is visiting your dentist to get it treated. Visit your dentist, and speak them about a plan of action. They’ll probably first want to know what your oral hygiene habits are like.

Some probable instructions you’ll receive are to concentrate on brushing your tongue in addition to brushing your teeth and gums. The tongue is essentially a breeding ground for a lot of the bacteria that’s causing your bad breath. You’ll also most likely be told to scrape your tongue before following up with brushing, flossing, and rinsing. If these solutions don’t work, your dentist will be able to suggest another plan of action, including seeing your family doctor to check if there’s a medical issue causing your bad breath.  

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