What Is Bad Breath (Halitosis)?
Bad breath (halitosis) is the unpleasant odor produced when exhaling. More than 80 million people suffer from halitosis and the condition is unable to be eliminated with normal, consistent oral hygiene routines. Halitosis can be an embarrassing condition and some people are not even aware they suffer from it.
What Causes Halitosis
Halitosis is most often caused by poor oral hygiene, bacteria waste, debris and food particle decay. Typically, halitosis originates from the tongue and gums. It can also be a sign of more a serious oral health issue, so if you are suffering from severe bad breath, it is important to schedule an appointment to see your dentist. Medical issues that may cause halitosis include diabetes, sinus infections, tonsil infections, and even kidney or gallbladder diseases among others. Some medications also cause dry mouth, which can contribute to halitosis.
How to Prevent Halitosis
There are several methods to help prevent or mitigate halitosis. A consistent oral hygiene routine is critical. Your routine should include mouthwash and an oral rinse to kill bacteria and germs as well as flossing and brushing your teeth at least twice a day. And don’t forget to brush your tongue! You can also include some dietary modifications such as eating foods rich in fiber and drinking black and green teas. Drinking an adequate amount of water is also helpful in preventing halitosis. A recommended amount is generally six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day. You should also eliminate any tobacco use, if you partake.
Halitosis treatment often depends on the cause of the condition. Your dentist may recommend special toothpastes or oral rinses if your halitosis is related to bacteria buildup. If gum disease is found during your examination, then your dentist will likely refer you to a periodontist, a doctor who specializes in the gums. The most important step in treating halitosis is discovering the cause and any underlying issues. If you have questions about halitosis or are looking for treatment, contact us to schedule an appointment.