Bad breath, or halitosis, can be an embarrassing problem that affects your confidence and social life. Fortunately, there are steps you can take to prevent and treat it. In most cases, if bad breath is due to inadequate oral hygiene, your dentist will be able to treat the cause of the problem. If the cause is an underlying gum disease, the dentist can treat the condition or refer you to an oral specialist, such as a periodontist.
To reduce bad breath and help prevent tooth decay and gum disease, it's important to practice good oral hygiene. This includes brushing your teeth twice a day, flossing daily, and brushing your tongue. Avoid using an alcoholic mouthwash, as it can dry out your mouth and cause more bad breath. If bad breath persists despite good oral hygiene habits, it could be a sign of something more serious, such as gum disease or an infected tooth.
In this case, your dentist may refer you to your primary care provider for additional treatment. Everyone has bad breath from time to time, for example after eating certain foods. However, if you have chronic bad breath that won't go away, it's important to seek professional help. Your dentist or doctor can help you identify and treat the underlying cause of your bad breath so that you can enjoy fresh breath and a clean taste in your mouth.