Bad breath, or halitosis, can have a number of causes. If you suffer from persistent bad breath, you should see your dentist. He can evaluate your symptoms and determine what’s causing your bad breath and how to most effectively treat it.
Causes of Bad Breath
In general, halitosis occurs because the bacteria in your mouth creates waste products that have a strong odor. Regular brushing and flossing keeps the bacteria under control and reduces these odors. Brushing or cleaning your tongue can also help. However, if bad breath persists or is accompanied by discomfort in the mouth, there could be an underlying cause that should be treated promptly. Causes of halitosis include:
Eating strong-smelling foods like garlic or onions
- Inadequate oral hygiene
- Smoking or other tobacco use
- Dry mouth
- Sinus problems
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
You could also develop bad breath as a result of dentures that don’t fit properly or because you have a yeast infection in your mouth. If you are a denture wearer, have your dentures checked regularly for a proper fit. Bacteria can build up under the dentures if food particles become trapped there. This can also lead to uncomfortable irritation of the gums and infections.
If you brush and floss regularly and still experience bad breath on a regular or semi-regular basis, talk to your dentist about treatment that can help.
Treatment for Bad Breath
In addition to regular, diligent brushing and flossing, as well as cleaning your tongue, you can use antibacterial mouthwashes to help reduce the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Mints or regular mouthwash can also help, but they only disguise the odor without addressing the underlying problem.
If your halitosis is particularly bad or is accompanied by other symptoms, see your dentist. You could have a badly decayed tooth that needs to be removed, or you could be developing gum disease. If your bad breath is caused by dry mouth, your dentist can recommend over-the-counter or even prescription medications to stimulate saliva production. Your dentist can also help if you have ill-fitting dentures or an oral yeast infection. Sinus problems should be evaluated by a doctor.
Call our team at Scott Family Dentistry to schedule an appointment and discuss what treatment might be right for you!