Everyone wants fresh breath. After all, why else would the oral healthcare aisle be stocked with an overabundance of mouthwashes, mints, breath strips, and gum? These products may do the trick if you’re trying to mask the scent of garlic or onions. Unfortunately, they do little to address chronic bad breath – or halitosis – as they simply mask the symptoms rather than address the underlying cause. Today, our doctors at Silverwood Dental discuss the causes, symptoms, and treatment of bad breath so you can address the issue and live in confidence.
When should I see a doctor about my bad breath?
The symptoms of bad breath are straightforward enough. However, it can be difficult to assess your own odour. If you think you might have bad breath, ask a close friend or family member to confirm or disprove your suspicion.
If you have bad breath, try changing your oral hygiene habits. For example, brush and floss regularly and use an antibacterial mouthwash. It is also a good idea to increase your water intake. If halitosis persists even after these changes, it’s time to see your dentist.
What causes bad breath?
There are several reasons why bad breath may develop. These include:
- Food: After you eat, food particles begin to break down in your mouth. This process can cause a foul odour to develop.
- Plaque: If you do not brush routinely, plaque deposits can accumulate on the teeth. Oral bacteria breed on plaque and tartar and lead to bad breath.
- Dry mouth: Saliva plays a significant role in oral health. It helps rinse away food particles and debris. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, decreases the natural production of saliva, resulting in bad breath.
- Tobacco use: Smoker’s breath is unpleasant. Additionally, those who use tobacco products are more likely to develop periodontal disease – another cause of halitosis.
- Medications: Certain drugs can directly affect your breath due to a release of certain chemicals in the body. Medications can also indirectly cause halitosis by causing dry mouth.
- Oral infections: Lesions or sores inside the mouth can be a source of bad breath.
- Sinus or nasal problems: Chronic inflammation or infection of the nose, throat, or sinuses can cause a foul odour to develop.
Treating bad breath
The treatment necessary to address your bad breath will depend on the root cause of the problem. For example, if your issue is due to a cavity, restorative treatment can be performed to eliminate the decay and the associated odour. If your bad breath is due to gum disease, then periodontal treatments will be recommended. If your doctor suspects that your halitosis is caused by medications or a possible health condition, he or she will refer you to your primary care physician for further assessment. No matter what the cause of your bad breath, we can help you treat the problem at its source.
Preventing bad breath
There are plenty of ways to prevent bad breath. We recommend that you:
- Brush your teeth after every meal.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Brush or scrape your tongue.
- Keep your mouth moist by drinking lots of water.
- Schedule routine dental visits.
Contact Silverwood Dental
Is bad breath causing embarrassment in your life? Do you have halitosis even through your brush and floss regularly? Our Saskatoon, SK dental team can help you identify the cause of your problem and help you treat it effectively. Contact us online or give us a call at 306-242-5233.