Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be embarrassing if left undiagnosed or unrecognized. The key is identifying the signs and symptoms early so you can treat the underlying cause. The unpleasant odor associated with halitosis can strike periodically or be persistent depending on the cause. For most, halitosis is caused by a bacteria buildup on the back of the tongue. The mouth’s warm, moist conditions make an idea environment for bacteria to grow.
Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth might be a warning sign of periodontal disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth which irritates the gums and can even damage the jawbone. Other causes of bad breath include:
Poorly fitting dental appliances
Yeast infections of the mouth
Poor dental hygiene
Bad breath can be prevented by performing good oral hygiene at home. Brushing twice daily with the appropriate toothpaste will go a long way in improving your breath. Here are some more tips that you can use to improve your halitosis:
Visit your dentist regularly – usually twice a year, regular dental cleanings and checkups are a great way for your dentist to monitor and fix any oral issue you might be having, including halitosis
Quit tobacco – not only can tobacco products ruin your gums and stain your teeth, they also cause bad breath that can lead to serious dental problems
Drink water – by drinking water, you are stimulating your salvia which helps wash away food particles and bacteria that might cause bad breath
Monitor your food intake – if you think that the food you eat might be the root cause of your bad breath, keep a log of what you eat so you can avoid the halitosis causing foods
In most cases, halitosis can be treated by your dentist. If it is determined that your mouth is healthy and the odor is not of oral origin, they may refer you to a family doctor or specialist to determine the odor source and treatment plan. While there are many over-the-counter products available claiming to cure halitosis, they are at most a stop-gap and do not provide permanent relief.
Next time you go in for a dental cleaning, ask your dentist if you are exhibiting any signs of halitosis, it’s better to find out from your dentist than a significant other or friend.
This newsletter/website is not intended to replace the services of a doctor. It does not constitute a doctor-patient relationship. Information in this newsletter/website is for informational purposes only & is not a substitute for professional advice. Please do not use the information contained herein for diagnosing or treating any condition.