Halitosis: Treatment Options for Bad Breath
You brush your teeth throughout the day and even use a mouthwash intended to stop bad breath. But your good friend has taken you aside and confided you still have bad breath. It is now time to see your dentist to get to the bottom of the cause for your halitosis.
Although halitosis can result from eating strong foods like onions or garlic, drinking coffee or alcohol, or using tobacco, consuming these products will generally not cause chronic bad breath.
The major culprit is bacteria. Bacteria that live on the tongue, teeth and gum tissue can contribute to your condition. Brushing your teeth and flossing daily can help reduce bacteria on teeth and gums. There are also products that allow you to scrape your tongue that can help reduce the bacteria that harbor especially on the back of the tongue.
Some medical conditions can cause bad breath. A sinus infection or infected tonsils are just two that can produce an unpleasant smell. But if you do not feel your physical health is causing your halitosis, a visit to your dentist for a thorough exam and hygienic cleaning may reveal the root cause of your bad breath.
Gingivitis is the precursor to the more serious periodontal disease. Swollen bleeding gum tissue and soreness in one or all dental quadrants is due to plaque build-up on the teeth and around the gum line. A professional cleaning is needed to remove this plaque and begin to restore healthy gum tissue. Daily flossing and brushing will help to clear out harmful bacteria that form plaque build-up.
The inability to produce sufficient saliva due to medications or other causes can result in dry mouth leading to bad breath. Changing medications or using a special rinse can aid in keeping the mouth hydrated.
Dental decay or inadequate dental hygiene may result in bad breath. Consulting with your dentist will not only help reduce bad breath germs, but will likely save you from costly needed dental work in the future.
Maintaining good dental hygiene and seeing your dentist twice a year for a professional cleaning and exam will help control the build-up of plaque and bacteria, which are primary causes for bad breath. Breath mints and mouthwash can be temporary solutions, but finding out what is causing halitosis can lead to a more permanent and pleasing result.
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