Halitosis is the technical term for bad breath. It’s caused by bacteria that develop in the tongue and throat and cause a dry mouth. Halitosis is an ongoing health issue that requires intervention to correct the problem. At Impressions Dental in Chandler, AZ, we help patients with bad breath who feel self-conscious about speaking or laughing or simply being near others.
Causes of Halitosis
Some bad breath is temporary, other halitosis hangs on no matter how well you take care of your teeth. Consider all the potential causes of this troublesome oral health problem to get a better understanding of your circumstances and determine whether you need to see your dentist or another specialist to manage your condition:
- Cavities: If there is any decay in your mouth, then your tooth enamel is being eaten away by bacteria and plaque. The bigger and deeper the cavity gets without intervention, the greater likelihood of ongoing bad breath.
- Gum disease: Gingivitis is the earliest stage of gum disease and sometimes goes unnoticed by the suffered because the symptoms can be subtle. However, bad breath is one major sign of this serious oral health problem.
- Medication: Some medication causes dry mouth and bad breath is a direct result of a lack of saliva production.
- Gastrointestinal disorders: Problems in the digestive tract, including acid reflux, liver disease, irritable bowel syndrome, or bowel obstructions can have bad breath as a side effect.
- Smoking: Smoking not only causes bad breath but stains and damages your teeth while also putting your overall health in jeopardy. Smoking can lead to oral cancer.
- Oral disease: Mouth ulcers or cold sores can be caused by stress, hormones, or a virus and have bad breath as a side effect.
- Diet: If you’re dieting to lose weight and eliminating or limiting certain food groups, this can cause a release of ketones which make themselves known through bad breath.
- Poor oral hygiene: The most common cause of halitosis is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush at least twice a day and floss at least once a day, bacteria will build up and multiply, leading to infections, decay, and gum disease.
- Certain foods: Garlic, onions, coffee, and spicy foods can all leave you with temporary bad breath. A good brushing and flossing should help rid your mouth of anything unsavory and get you back to fresh breath.
Treatment for Halitosis
There is no blanket fix for halitosis. Effective treatment ultimately depends on what’s causing the problem. There are steps you can take, however, to keep halitosis at bay and ensure that any tooth decay, gum disease, or other infections are recognized instantly and addressed before they have a chance to cause serious problems:
- Brush after every meal.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Brush your tongue.
- Stay hydrated with water, not energy drinks.
- See your dentist regularly for teeth cleanings and dental exams.
- Clean oral appliances – dentures or Invisalign – daily.
- Get a new toothbrush regularly.
- Adjust your diet.
When to See Your Chandler Dentist About Bad Breath
Halitosis is an embarrassing problem to have, but your dentist is used to treating patients with this affliction. If you have bad breath, start at your Chandler dentist’s office to determine if you have an oral health problem that’s contributing to the bad breath or if there is something else going on in your body that requires additional care from another specialist.
Never hesitate, though, to talk to your dental professional about halitosis first. The problem is fixable if the cause is identified. Contact Impressions Dental in Chandler, AZ, to schedule an appointment with Dr. Brigham Baker and his dental team and get yourself and your confidence back on track.