Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can involve mouth odor, a bad taste, dry mouth, a white coating on the tongue, or all four. The reasons for persistent bad breath vary, but treatment is usually successful, whether it involves changing dental care habits, altering diet choices or healing the underlying disease that may trigger halitosis.
Diagnose the Reason
The most common culprits are food and tobacco. Diets that include garlic, fish, onions and powerful spices tend to color your breath. The odor may originate from food particles lodged between the teeth. People who smoke run a higher risk of oral cancer because tobacco aggravates gum tissue in addition to leaving behind chemicals that contribute to bad breath.
Halitosis may be a symptom of an infection in the mouth such as gingivitis, a cavity or an impacted tooth. If you have poor oral hygiene, plaque buildup and the gradual breakdown of tooth enamel can contribute to the condition.
If you suffer from dry mouth, you may also notice an unpleasant odor. Saliva cleans the teeth and removes food particles, so when the supply is lacking, the teeth and breath suffer. Sometimes dry mouth is a side effect of certain medications.
Minor infections such as bronchitis or postnasal drip may be the root of the problem, along with more serious conditions such as diabetes or liver or kidney infections.
Can You Cure Bad Breath?
The first step to a clean mouth is proper dental hygiene. Ensure you are brushing and flossing on a regular basis. Brush your tongue and gums as well as each and every tooth. Visit the dentist at least twice a year for monitoring and an in-depth cleaning.
Increase your fluid intake to keep the mouth moist, but avoid acidic or sugary drinks like coffee. Chew on sugar-free gum or raw carrots and celery to cleanse the mouth.
When Should You Call the Dentist?
If you are unsure of proper tooth-brushing techniques, talk to your dentist about the right type of toothbrush for you and the recommended frequency of use.
If bad breath persists after implementing proper oral hygiene and you feel pain or discomfort in any area of your mouth, contact the dentist for an examination. In addition, bleeding gums and loose teeth are instant triggers of a serious oral health issue that warrants a call to your dentist. They can rule out periodontitis, cavities, impacted teeth or other infections that may be the cause of the issue.
The dentist may decide to refer you to a physician for a complete physical examination if he or she suspects the bad breath may indicate an illness not related to dental health. If you suffer from bothersome bad breath, trust the trained dental experts at Oak Hills Dentistry to work hard at finding a cure and eliminating your halitosis.