Understanding, and Defeating, Chronic Bad Breath

woman smells something badAre you slightly embarrassed to converse with people up close because you’re aware that your breath is less-than-fresh? Have you tried all you can think of to freshen your breath, but without any significant, or lasting, improvement? Chronic bad breath, clinically known as halitosis, can affect your dental health and confidence for a number of reasons. When it refuses to go away even after you’ve thoroughly brushed and flossed your teeth, then you may need to seek help from your Polk City dentist, Dr. Hussong, to understand and defeat the causes behind your breath’s persistent odor.

Common Halitosis Causes

The reasons for halitosis are many, and can stem from especially bad hygiene (oral bacteria are the most common cause of bad breath), an underlying medical/dental condition, or as a result of certain medications. Aside from health conditions, the most common reasons for persistently bad breath include;

  • Pungent foods (i.e., garlic and onions)
  • Sulfur compounds released by oral bacteria
  • Dry mouth, or inhibited flow of saliva
  • A tooth infection, or tooth decay
  • Advancing gum disease
  • A ruptured abscess (pocket of infected pus on a tooth, tooth’s root, or within the gum tissue)

Tips for Permanently Fresher Breath

If it’s a medical condition or your medication, then your bad breath might not improve until you speak with your physician. Usually, however, you can help defeat bad breath by defeating the oral bacteria that cause it;

  • Drink more water (it neutralizes bacteria and their harmful substances)
  • Chew sugarless gum (it stimulates saliva production to rinse away bacteria and food particles)
  • Floss liberally (hidden food particles can continue to feed oral bacteria)
  • Visit your dentist regularly (routine dental checkups and cleanings are needed to keep your mouth clean)


Dr. Ryan Hussong is a dedicated restorative, family, and cosmetic dentist who is passionate about helping patients create and maintain beautiful, healthy smiles. To schedule a consultation with us, call the Cornerstone Dental office today at (515) 984-6001. We proudly serve patients of all ages from Polk City, Ankeny, Grimes, Ames, Johnston, Urbandale, and Des Moines.

2 Responses to “Understanding, and Defeating, Chronic Bad Breath”

    • Ryan Hussong

      We recommend a dental cleaning at least twice a year for fresher breath, brighter smiles, and a reduction in the risk of developing periodontal disease.