24 Jun Halitosis: What’s causing my bad breath?
Bad breath, which may also be called by its scientific name of halitosis, isn’t just an embarrassment. It can also indicate the presence of an underlying health problem. If you are concerned about this symptom, you should schedule an appointment with your dentist for further evaluation.
Causes of Halitosis
Any number of issues can cause bad breath, including the following:
- Foods: Particularly aromatic foods, like garlic and onions, can linger on your breath for some time after you eat them.
- Oral diseases: Issues like tooth decay and gum disease are caused by bacteria, which generate unpleasant smells.
- Infection: The bacteria that cause infections in the mouth, such as abscesses, can cause bad breath directly. Infections in other parts of the respiratory system, such as the sinuses or the lungs, can also contribute to halitosis.
- Dry mouth: Saliva washes away oral bacteria, so when saliva production is insufficient, unpleasant smelling bacteria will build up.
- Medications: Medications can cause bad breath by either having dry mouth as a side effect or producing strange-smelling compounds as they are metabolized in the body.
- Other health conditions: Health issues like GERD, metabolic disorders and even some types of cancer can be associated with bad breath.
Treatment Options to Eliminate Bad Breath
Fortunately, halitosis can be treated, and you should consult with your dentist to develop the most effective plan to eliminate your bad breath. The first step is scheduling an evaluation to determine which of the factors listed above are causing your bad breath.
Once the cause has been identified, then the dentist can recommend the most effective treatment. Your halitosis treatment plan may include the following:
- Proper oral hygiene guidance: Using correct brushing and flossing technique, incorporating mouthwash, and even brushing your tongue can keep halitosis-causing oral bacteria at bay.
- Treatment for oral diseases: If your bad breath is due to a cavity, gum disease or an infection, an intervention for that problem will likely eliminate the bad breath, too.
- Hydration plan: Halitosis that results from dry mouth will respond to a concerted effort to eliminate that condition. You will be instructed to drink adequate amounts of water, and an artificial saliva product also may be recommended.
Are you plagued by halitosis? Take steps to get rid of it. Call Kozlow & Rowell Dentistry to schedule an evaluation and get started on banishing your bad breath for good!