Bad breath, also called halitosis, is most often caused by gum disease or other dental problems. Therefore, a visit to the dentist for a thorough exam is the best first step in treating the cause of this unpleasant symptom.
Early treatment is both less painful and less expensive than what will be required if the disease progresses significantly.
What could bad breath mean?
It is important to remember that persistent bad breath and bad taste in the mouth are usually symptoms of gum disease.
If left untreated, gum disease will lead to permanent damage to the gums, loss of teeth and loss of bones in the jaw.
Those with gum disease also have a higher risk of other serious conditions such as heart disease, strokes, and diabetes.
How treating bad breath could prevent advanced gum disease?
If you don’t brush properly after meals and floss daily, food particles can remain in your mouth and promote bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums and on the tongue. This causes halitosis. If gum disease is not too far advanced, it may be arrested by a deep cleaning at the dental office.
A combination of a deep cleaning and more rigorous compliance with the proper routines of brushing and flossing may be enough to eradicate the halitosis.
Antibacterial mouthwash may be a helpful addition but should never be considered a substitute for brushing and flossing.
What causes bad breath?
Unclean dentures and poorly fitting dental appliances
Dentures that are not properly cleaned can also cause bad breath. And poorly fitting dental appliances may allow food particles to be trapped in the mouth.
Other possible causes of halitosis are yeast infections of the mouth and dental caries.
Dry mouth (Xerostomia)
The medical condition dry mouth (also called xerostomia) also can cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten the mouth, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks.
If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be a side effect of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.
Why it’s important to find the cause of your bad breath?
If your dentist cannot find a cause for the bad breath, you should see a medical doctor to check for other diseases that can cause halitosis. Among the most common of these are respiratory tract infections such as pneumonia or bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.
If you have persistent bad breath, call our office to schedule a thorough exam. 866-989-1335