What causes bad breath?
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is often easily treatable. There are several causes of bad breath:
- Strong foods like garlic and onions
- Periodontal disease
- Dry mouth
- Various medical conditions
- Improper or inconsistent dental homecare
Treating bad breath
Eliminating the bacteria found on your tongue and gums is one of the first steps in getting rid of bad breath. The tongue surface is made up of many tiny fissures. Small particles of food can get trapped in these fissures and begin to decompose. A type of bacteria, called anaerobic bacteria, thrives in these areas, where there is little or no oxygen. Bad breath odor occurs when these bacteria produce a common compound called sulfur.
Periodontal disease, or gum disease, is another source of sulfur-producing bacteria. The plaque and tartar that build up around your teeth and gums create pockets that trap food and bacteria, and create an environment where sulfur is produced. It’s fortunate that the treatment of periodontal disease will also help treat the bad breath symptoms.
When we treat bad breath, we first remove the sulfur-producing bacteria from your mouth during a professional cleaning.
If your bad breath was caused by dry mouth, we’ll investigate the causes and suggest treatment options. We’ll also let you know if we discover signs of any medical conditions.
Next, we’ll work with you to set up a homecare routine that will include daily brushing and flossing, and may also include tongue cleaning and an anti-bacterial rinse. We may also suggest several return appointments to monitor your success and fine-tune your efforts.
Bad breath is uncomfortable and embarrassing, but the good news is that with the right tools, regular care in our office, and the proper homecare routine, it’s reversible. With treatment, you’ll notice improvement right away, and soon be enjoying fresh breath and a healthier mouth.
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