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Why Do I Always Have Bad Breath?

Why Do I Always Have Bad Breath?

Bad breath is more than a social embarrassment. It can be a sign that something is wrong with your health. If you notice you consistently have bad breath—to the point where it causes you or others concern—it’s time to get the problem checked out. 

Here at Downtown Dental Studio, we concern ourselves with more than just the typical teeth cleaning. Fadi Beydoun, DMD, MS, Alexander Kimon, DMD, and Karina Zaygermakher, DMD, consider all the issues you might have—from pain and discomfort to yellowing of the teeth and, yes, even bad breath.  

Bad breath 101 

Bad breath is a non-technical term for a condition called halitosis. This issue is very common; it’s estimated that about 50% of the population suffers from it. 

While scent is subjective, bad breath is usually associated with a strong, unpleasant smell that others might want to avoid. It’s caused by a particular bacteria on the tongue and in the throat. This bacteria produces sulfur, which is the cause of the typical bad breath smell. 

Of course, plenty of things can cause temporary bad breath. One of these is eating certain foods like garlic, onions, dairy, or anchovies. You might also experience bad breath if you don’t brush your teeth one morning. But we’re talking about the issue of chronic halitosis and what causes it. 

Five reasons you might experience bad breath all the time

1. Bad oral hygiene 

Not brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash regularly can lead to chronic bad breath. If you avoid brushing your teeth twice a day, for example, you might experience bad breath until you do choose to brush. However, a lack of oral hygiene routine over time can create issues like tooth decay and gingivitis, which also cause bad breath.

2. Smoking 

Smoking cigarettes is one of the most common causes of long-term bad breath. Even when you take good care of your oral health, the chemicals in cigarettes mix with your saliva and create a stale smell that can be synonymous with smoking. But this isn’t the end of the issue; chewing tobacco and even smoking marijuana can also cause bad breath. 

3. Infection 

Bad breath can be caused by a tooth infection (a dental abscess) or serious gum infection (periodontal disease). If you notice other symptoms, such as tooth or gum pain, receding, red or bleeding gums, or swelling, you may be dealing with an untreated infection in your mouth. 

4. Illness 

Illnesses cause different symptoms to alert you that something is wrong. Some illnesses, like diabetes, acid reflux, liver disease, and esophageal cancer, can cause bad breath as a warning symptom. It’s important not to jump to conclusions too quickly and to determine if any other symptoms could be pointing to one of these conditions. 

5. Dehydration 

One very common cause of bad breath is not drinking enough water. People who are chronically dehydrated might also experience bad breath frequently. If you don’t drink as much water as you should and all these other issues sound unlikely, try bringing a water bottle with you when you go out and making a concerted effort to drink more water.

Bad breath doesn’t have to last 

Your bad breath could be a result of an activity, a lack of hydration, or an overdue teeth cleaning. It could also be a deeper issue, which is why it’s important to get to the bottom of it. 

If you want to find out more about halitosis and what it could be trying to tell you, call 212-964-3337 and make an appointment at our office in the Financial District of New York City, NY. You can also book your appointment online at your convenience. 




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