For those who suffer from chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, a home oral-care routine may not be enough to combat odor. Even if you are maintaining an effective oral-hygiene routine of brushing your teeth, tongue, and gums and flossing after every meal or snack, you may still be experiencing bad breath. If this is the case, you should see a doctor or a dentist.
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, over 90% of bad breath cases are linked to issues in the mouth, throat, and tonsils. As a result, seeing a dentist is often the wisest option to treat chronic bad breath. Your dentist can perform regular cleanings and exams, and he or she can also conduct further tests to ascertain what parts of your mouth are contributing to bad breath. Generally, your dentist is able to treat the causes of your bad breath. If he or she determines that your mouth is healthy and not responsible for bad breath, your dentist may refer you to your family doctor or to a specialist for treatment.
Alternatively, another illness such as diabetes, cancer, or a respiratory infection can lead to symptoms involving bad breath. For cases like these, you should see your primary healthcare provider to diagnose and treat these underlying causes of unpleasant oral odor. Sometimes medications are to blame for causing bad breath. If you suspect this may be the case, ask your prescribing physician if the medication can be adjusted or if he or she can suggest other options.
Bad breath in infants or young children may indicate an infection or an undiagnosed medical issue. In these cases, consult your child’s pediatrician or dentist as soon as possible. For adults and children, taking proper care of your teeth and visiting the dentist at least twice a year are the simplest ways to avoid bad breath and other oral-health concerns.