Saturday , July 13 2024

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

village dentalHalitosis, also known as bad breath, can be caused by a variety of things including, diet, medication, poor oral hygiene, and diseases or conditions such as diabetes, GERD, lactose intolerance, gum disease, and more. Treatment for bad breath depends on the cause.
When a person does not brush or floss their teeth thoroughly, food particles may remain in the mouth. These particles are broken down by the bacteria in the mouth and cause foul odors. In addition, food particles over time can promote the growth of bacteria, which continue to cause foul odors. The bacteria can also lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
Bad breath can also be caused by decreased flow of saliva, which is a vital part of the digestive process and removes odor-causing particles in the mouth. Also called, xerostomia, dry mouth may be caused by medications, breathing through the mouth, or salivary gland problems.
Certain medical disorders may cause bad breath, for example:
. Gum or periodontal infection
. Throat infection (pharyngitis or tonsillitis)
. Local infection in the respiratory tract
. Chronic sinusitis and/or post-nasal drip
. Chronic bronchitis
. Diabetes
. Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
. Liver or kidney disease
. Sjogren’s syndrome (causes xerostomia)
. Lactose intolerance
Dentures or dental appliances, such as braces, can also contribute to bad breath. Most often it is due to food particles that are not properly cleansed from the appliances. Loose-fitting dentures can contribute to sores and localized infections in the mouth, which can cause bad breath.
Overnight, bacteria accumulate in the mouth, causing bad breath that is commonly referred to as ‘morning breath.’ Some people breathe through their mouth at night, which can cause dry mouth and worsen morning breath.
Some common signs of bad breath include: smell, bad taste or taste changes, dry mouth, and a coating on the tongue.
When to Seek Medical Care
An individual should consult their physician if they have: persistent dry mouth, sores in the mouth, pain with chewing or swallowing, white spots on the tonsils, fever, just started a new medication, or any other symptoms that are of concern.
A dentist will examine the patient’s mouth. X-rays may be taken, and periodontal charting may be done to determine if the odor is due to gum disease.
If the odor is due to gum disease, the dentist may prescribe periodontal treatment. Scaling and root planing is a careful cleaning of the root surfaces to remove plaque and calculus (tartar) from deep periodontal pockets and to smooth the tooth root to remove bacterial toxins. Scaling and root planing is often followed by adjunctive therapy such as local delivery antimicrobials. The majority of patients will require ongoing maintenance therapy to sustain health.
In patients who suffer from dry mouth, a dentist may prescribe artificial saliva.  Keep your mouth moist by: drinking water, chewing sugarless gum, and sugarless mints.
Dentists can also prescribe special toothpaste and mouthwash that can improve the symptoms of bad breath. Mouthwash provides a temporary way to mask bad breath odors, but it may not treat the underlying cause
Good oral hygiene self-care at home include:
. Brush at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste
. Brush the teeth after meals
. Brush the tongue
. Replace your toothbrush every two to three months
. Use dental floss regularly
. Dentures should be removed at night and  cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth
. See your dentist at least twice a year
If good oral hygiene practices do not eliminate the bad breath, see a dental professional. In most cases, a dentist can treat the cause of bad breath.
Village Dental
352-205-7667 or 352-753-7507

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