Bad breath, or halitosis as your Tampa dentist may call it, is everyone’s nightmare. Nobody wants to be having a conversation, worrying about whether or not their breath is offending someone. For those that suffer from chronic halitosis, normal brushing and flossing usually aren’t enough. You can discuss options with your Tampa dentist on treating your bad breath, but here is a list of potential underlying causes of your chronic bad breath.

Dry Mouth
When your mouth is dry, bacteria takes over; keeping yourself hydrated can keep bad breath at bay. If you suffer from chronic dry mouth, ask your Tampa dentist if there is a mouthwash or gum they recommend to help. Water also washes away any lingering bacteria that may be stuck in-between teeth or gums.

Gum Disease
If you have gum disease, bacteria have been eating away at your gums and tooth enamel. You may be suffering from tooth decay, which then leads to bad breath. Those with gum disease often report a bad, sometimes metallic, taste in their mouth; If you think your bad breath may be caused by gum disease, consult your dentist on ways to treat this.

Smoking
If you’re a smoker, you likely have halitosis. Tobacco users are at a higher risk for gum disease, which causes bad breath, as well as a slew of other health issues. The only real way to rid bad breath associated with smoking is to quit smoking.

Poor Hygiene
Last, but not least, is poor hygiene. Proper oral hygiene is crucial to maintain fresh breath. The less often you brush and floss, the longer bacteria has to fester in the mouth. Old food builds up into plaque, which can lead to cavities, gum disease, and tooth decay. If you are not brushing and flossing at least twice a day, chances are you may be suffering from halitosis.

Bad breath is not always as easily treated as brushing your teeth. If you’ve had chronic bad breath, consult your dentist and doctor to determine if something more serious could be the cause.