Your bad breath may signify more than just a need to improve your brushing technique — it's often a symptom of oral health issues, which can cause serious discomfort if left untreated.
Bad breath generally suggests you need to clean your mouth more effectively, but persistent odor or bad tastes indicate oral diseases, cavities or health complications that go beyond your mouth. For questions about the causes and implications of halitosis — the medical name for bad breath — schedule a visit to your local dentist's office.
Having bad breath may severely interfere with your life, as the odor may cause people to turn away, back up or avoid conversations with you. That can be a serious obstacle for your personal life, but think about your career, too: Something as treatable as bad breath shouldn't get in the way of your professional interactions with others or compromise your ability to do your job.
Beyond the social consequences, the effect of bad breath extends to your health. Halitosis may be a sign you need to improve your oral hygiene, but it may also be a byproduct of more serious conditions, like diabetes, pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, chronic acid reflux, liver or kidney problems, and gum disease.
Bad breath may also be a side-effect of some medications. For example, if you're experiencing dry mouth, it may lead to halitosis, because saliva helps keep your mouth clean. Without it, there's nothing wash away dead cells from your tongue, cheeks, and gums that decompose and smell.
Odor-causing bacteria isn't always easy to eliminate through brushing your teeth, flossing of using mouthwash. If the problem is beyond reach, like gum disease or cavities, you'll need a dental hygienist or dentist to remove the source of the offensive odor.
Bad breath is no small thing, and it's difficult to detect on your own, so be sure to keep your regular dentist appointments and ask about ways to combat chronic bad breath, if you suspect it's an issue. Resolving it may not only improve your self esteem but also your quality of life.