Bad Breath Treatment
What is Halitosis?
Halitosis, the medical term for chronic bad breath, can often appear as a result of poor oral hygiene or may signify other less obvious underlying health issues. Bad breath may also result from habits such as smoking.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Brushing and flossing help to remove food particles from the mouth. When particles remain behind, they bring about the growth of bacteria on the tongue, between the teeth, and around the gums, which leads to bad breath. For this reason, it is essential to brush and floss teeth routinely, and many opt to use an antibacterial mouth rinse to help reduce the growth of this bacteria.
Denture wearers need to take care to clean their false teeth properly, as bacteria and food particles may become trapped and cause bad breath. Those who smoke or use products that contain tobacco often suffer from halitosis, and this is only one of the many issues associated with the use of these products. Smoking also stains the teeth, irritates the gums, and reduces the user’s ability to taste foods.
Individuals with halitosis should have a complete physical and dental checkup, as this problem may be a sign, something else is going on in the body.
For example, periodontal disease tends to leave a person with chronic bad breath. This disease occurs when plaque builds up on the teeth, as the bacteria in the plaque leads to toxins forming. The gums become irritated, and the jawbone and gums may sustain damage. Cavities, oral yeast infections, and dental appliances that don’t correctly fit are also causes of bad breath.
Individuals suffering from xerostomia, otherwise known as dry mouth, frequently struggle with bad breath. Saliva produced by the body moistens the mouth, and this helps to neutralize any odors brought on by plaque. Also, the saliva works to remove any dead cells that have built up on the cheeks, gums, and tongue. When the cells aren’t adequately removed, they begin to decompose, and bad breath is noticed.
When oral health problems have been eliminated, the person suffering from bad breath may need to undergo a complete physical. People with diabetes may experience bad breath, and the same is true of those suffering from chronic gastroesophageal reflux. Individuals who have bronchitis, pneumonia, liver or kidney problems, postnasal drip, or routine sinus infections often experience halitosis. For this reason, a checkup is needed to eliminate or treat these causes.
Tips For Preventing Bad Breath
Practice good oral hygiene habits. Brush and floss daily to remove food particles and plaque, brushing the tongue at the same time. Replace the toothbrush regularly, every three months or sooner, and use an antibacterial mouthwash two times a day. Regular dental cleanings, a minimum of twice a year, are essential also.
Clean dentures daily and have them fitted regularly to ensure no food gets trapped under them.
Drink plenty of water, as this keeps the mouth moist. Sugarless candy and sugarless chewing gum help to stimulate saliva production, and this helps to remove bacteria and food particles. Monitor the foods eaten to determine which are bringing on the bad breath.
Everyone experiences bad breath at one time or another. When this is an ongoing issue, however, the underlying cause needs to be identified. Speak to your dentist today, as bad breath can be a sign of a more severe problem.
Washington Center for Cosmetic & Family Dentistry can help, so give us a call today at 202-363-2500.