Bad Breath Causes and Treatment
By William Stofer on April 23, 2014
We all have bad breath from time to time, but sometimes bad breath becomes a persistent problem. Chronic bad breath can signal an underlying problem more serious than a passion for garlic.
If you have persistent halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, you should consider having it checked. Though bad breath is a common problem, it is not always benign. Bad breath can also be a symptom of an infection or chronic disease.
A visit to a cosmetic dentist can help pinpoint the cause of your bad breath. Drs. William B. Stofer and Jason D. Hemphill at Dental Solutions in Warsaw can examine your mouth and recommend bad breath treatment that is appropriate for your case.
Causes of Bad Breath
Food and beverages can cause temporary bad breath that is not a medical concern. However, if you have persistent bad breath, it can signal an underlying problem that you should solve to avoid future complications. Some causes of persistent bad breath include:
- Poor Oral Hygiene. Poor brushing and flossing leaves decaying food trapped in the gums or between teeth, producing odors. In addition, poor oral hygiene also allows bacteria and plaque to buildup, producing bad breath.
- Smoking. Tobacco products cause bad breath and encourage periodontal disease, another source of bad breath.
- Dry Mouth. Saliva continually washes plaque and bacteria off the teeth. If you do not produce enough saliva, the plaque and bacteria that collects on your teeth can cause bad breath.
- Illness. Certain diseases cause bad breath, such as sinus infections, pneumonia, or thrush. In addition, medications used to treat illnesses can cause bad breath. If an illness is thought to be causing your bad breath, your dentist may recommend an appointment with your family doctor.
- Infections. A cavity, gum disease, or impacted teeth can all lead to bad breath.
- Dental Appliances. Yeast infections are common among denture wearers and can lead to bad breath. Poor-fitting dentures can also cause sores, which can produce odors. Braces also contribute to bad breath when food gets trapped in the wires and metal brackets.
Bad Breath Treatment
Treatment for your bad breath will depend on the source of the problem. If your bad breath is caused by cavities, then you will need restorative dentistry treatment to remove the decay and restore the tooth. Some people need only a simple filling, but if decay is advanced, more extensive work, such as a crown, may be required.
If gum disease is causing your bad breath, treatment will depend on how far the disease has progressed. Scaling and root planing is an option for some, but gum surgery will be necessary for more advanced cases.
If your bad breath is a result of poor hygiene, then diligent brushing and flossing may be all that you need. You may also want to adopt some daily habits that can improve your breath:
- Drink water frequently, to help rinse the teeth.
- Stop using tobacco products.
- Schedule dental exams and cleanings every six months to remove stubborn plaque.
- Chew sugar-free gum.
If you would like to track down the source of your bad breath, a visit with a dentist at Dental Solutions is a good start. They can determine if a dental problem is the source of your bad breath and recommend a solution. Please call for an appointment.
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