Halitosis Q & A
What is halitosis?
Halitosis, or bad breath, is a medical issue caused by poor dental hygiene. It can also be an indication of other problems. Halitosis is often made worse by particular types of foods and other unhealthy lifestyle habits, including smoking. When a person doesn’t brush and floss teeth regularly, food particles may stick in the mouth and encourage bacteria to grow. These bacteria cause decay and may lead to bad breath. This can affect those with dentures as well. While this disease can cause a person to feel very self-conscious, it is treatable.
Are other health problems associated with bad breath?
A persistent bad taste in the mouth or chronic halitosis may be an indication of periodontal disease which affects the gums. This is caused when plaque builds up on teeth and hardens to form tartar. This tartar harbors bacteria. The toxins released by the bacteria aggravate the gums and can cause tooth loss if left untreated. Oral yeast infections and cavities can also cause or be linked to halitosis. Also, dry mouth commonly is associated with halitosis. When saliva is not produced, the mouth can’t be cleaned of plaque-produced acids and dead cells from the tongue, cheeks, and gums can’t be swept away. When dead cells stay in the mouth, they may decay, which also causes halitosis. There are several causes of halitosis and the doctors at the practice can help to determine what the cause is. If there are other health conditions present, the doctor can treat the underlying issue.
What treatments are used for halitosis?
Treatments are chosen based on what is causing the halitosis. If gum disease is the cause, a special cleaning to remove plaque and bacteria likely needs to be performed. When bad habits are the cause and gum disease has not progressed, the doctor may provide some instruction on how to properly clean teeth and an antiseptic mouthwash may be prescribed. If dry mouth is the cause, a moisturizing mouthwash might be needed. If the person is taking medications which cause dry mouth, he or she may use a different drug or use the moisturizing mouthwash. If you have chronic halitosis, contact the office to schedule an exam with one of the expert doctors in your area.