Bad Breath / Halitosis
Here at The Tooth Family Dental, we work to give you and your family the best dental care in Las Vegas and the surrounding area.
Bad breath, or as some call it, “halitosis,” is that horrible smell coming out of your mouth on the breeze of your breath that can be too easily detected by those around you. Estimates are in that about 50% of the population is suffering from halitosis.
It is true that bad breath has adverse effects on friendships, social situations, and relationships that include one’s romantic life. It can even ruin job interviews, first impressions, dates, and the interactions you have with your work colleagues. Most people are not aware they have halitosis until someone tells them about it, and most people are too embarrassed to do so.
There is good news, however, that if you do suffer from this embarrassment, there are several options available to you in helping alleviate your problem so you can avoid any potential embarrassing issues.
Bad Breath Causes
It is certainly not uncommon for one to have brief episodes of halitosis. There are so many reasons for one to have bad breath. With that said, some of the reasons could lead to the presence of other unknown health conditions, and then others do not. In the majority of the cases, any excessive bacteria that is odor-causing in your mouth can cause bad breath. The bacteria can multiply and thrive on those food particles that are left in between your teeth and on them. As the bacteria grows and increases, this bacteria will metabolize those food particles, and the by-product of the metabolism is the emission of sulfur, and it sure does have an unpleasant odor.
Other factors that can be the cause of bad breath include:
- Foods like onions, garlic, and coffee
- Tobacco products like chewing tobacco and cigarettes
- Dry mouth
- Prescription medications
- Poor oral hygiene
Since those temporary bouts of having bad breath is common, determining the reason medically is important: underlying medical conditions (acid reflux disease), periodontal disease (gingivitis or gum disease), systemic diseases (liver disease, diabetes) can cause you to have bad breath. Having bad breath is a very common sign of the early stage of gingivitis. Having constant, severe bad breath though can direct one to the diagnosis of the presence of something more serious.
Preventing Bad Breath
In many cases, if you practice good dental hygiene and schedule regular preventative dental care should help reduce significantly reduce how often you have bad breath.
Ten Tips For Getting Rid of Bad Breath:
- Brushing and flossing your teeth is a crucial point. By brushing twice each day and using a fluoridated toothpaste with a soft-bristled brush.
- Remember that cleaning your tongues surface as you brush your teeth because bacteria seems to accumulate on your tongue, and it can bring on bad breath.
- Floss at the least one time a day to get rid of the food particles left between your teeth. If not sure how to properly floss, ask your dental hygienist or dentist.
- Make sure the mouthwash you use is an anti-bacterial agent, and you rinse with it 1-2 times each day after you finish flossing and brushing your teeth to kill the odor-causing bacteria, to let it freshen your breath and it will help improve your overall oral hygiene overall.
- Try chewing the sugar-free gum after snacks or meals to keep your mouth clear of the odor-causing bacteria.
- While eating drink lots of water and after snacks and meals to help get rid of bacteria and food particles out of your mouth.
- Quit the smoking and use of all other tobacco products. Tobacco can bring on foul breath and cause you other dental and health and oral hygiene issues (gingivitis, periodontal disease, oral cancer, and dry mouth).
- Lower the amount of alcohol you are drinking, because it can cause you to have a dry mouth.
- Eat more vegetables and fruits, because the fibrous quality of the foods can naturally remove the odor-causing plaque off your teeth.
- Minimize how much coffee and other odor-causing foods you are consuming (onions, certain spices, and garlic) because they are all difficult to get the odor off your breath.
Ways Your Dentist Can Address Your Bad Breath:
- Have your teeth professionally cleaned regularly by a dentist so you can get rid of that odor-causing bacteria and plaque buildup.
- Make sure there are no underlying dental or mouth problems (dry mouth, infection, gingivitis, cavities, or periodontal disease) that can cause you bad breath. For whatever is identified your dentist will address.
- Use of an effective mouthwash and toothpaste. Your dentist can tell you which anti-bacterial mouthwashes and the toothpastes that are the best at managing bad breath.
- Your dentist will be able to tell you if you have bad breath by testing your breath by using a meter, either an OralChroma or a Halimeter. It measures the amount of sulfides in your breath that could cause you to have bad breath.
- Your dentist will probably recommend a good tongue scraper. Odor-causing bacteria seems to accumulate on your tongue, especially at the back of the mouth and tongue.
- Your dentist will check for loose dentures and those that are ill-fitting: Parts of your mouth can get irritated if you wear any orthodontic devices or dentures do not fit properly or are too lose and causing sores on your gums bringing on infection.
- Your dentist can repair the defective fillings or fill in new cavities that have trapped food particles and become infected. He will check your veneers, old bridge work, partial or full dentures, and crowns to make sure there is not an infection with breakages holding in trapped food particles, every one of which can contribute to bad breath.
- Evaluate if your wisdom teeth need to come out. If they are only part way erupted they can get hard to clean, causing food particles to get trapped in and around them. It can also cause tooth decay, foul odor, and infection, and it may be decided that you need to have your wisdom teeth extracted.
- Your dentist will check your prescriptions because some of them will contribute to dry mouth, odor in mouth, and a foul taste. Your dentist will pinpoint what medications might be causing you trouble with bad breath.
- The Tooth Family Dental might suggest you have a complete physical with your primary care physician. Bad breath can be brought on by other underlying health issues that include acid reflux, liver problems, sinus infections, and diabetes.
Do not suffer any of the consequences of bad breath – try these tips and see The Tooth Family Dental for help!