August 15, 2020
Your breath is a highly complex mixture of substances that can produce numerous different odors. When the smell is foul or offensive coming from the mouth it is called halitosis or oral malodor.
Commonly referred to as bad breath, it is a common problem for both genders and all age groups. It can be an occasional occurrence or it can be a chronic condition.
For bad cases of halitosis, others even 4 to 5 feet away may be aware of the malodorous emissions from one with this condition. A social and psychological disadvantage results for those who suffer chronic halitosis. It can have a distressing effect on that individual’s relation with other people, causing them to avoid socializing.
There are several causes for this undesirable condition classified as two types, intraoral (coming from the mouth) and external (ones apart from the mouth like diseases). Intraoral conditions are the cause of 80–85% of halitosis cases.
In these two categories, bad breath can be caused by poor oral hygiene, foods a person eats, pathological causes, a range of diseases, or other factors.
Oral hygiene - Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath. This is an intraoral cause. Most people should know that if they fail to keep their mouth clean, they will have bad breath.
It is all about the BACTERIA that builds up on your teeth, particularly between them, as well as on your tongue and gums. The same bacteria are also responsible for gum disease and tooth decay.
This is why ALL dentists will remind you over and over to practice good oral hygiene. To brush and floss often, and maintain regular visits with your dentist. We also recommend a tongue brush or scraper to help reduce the amount of keratin and bacteria allowed to accumulate on the tongue.
Foods you eat - Another intraoral cause is described as “transient oral malodor.” This happens after you have eaten strongly flavored foods such as garlic, onions or spices. Also, of course, consuming tobacco and alcohol causes offensive odors. The resulting breath from all these culprits takes on a different odor and may last several hours.
Pathological causes – Intraoral causes also come from periodontal infections (gum disease), odontogenic infections (an infection of the alveolus, jaws, or face that originates from a tooth) and infected teeth as in cavities or a wisdom tooth which is partially erupted.
Diseases - External causes are ones apart from the mouth like systemic diseases such as diabetic or liver diseases, respiratory diseases, and gastrointestinal diseases.
Other causes – Some types of medication can cause bad breath. These include nitrates that are sometimes used to treat angina (chest pain caused by a restriction in the blood supply to the heart), chemotherapy medication and tranquilizers. Certain medical conditions like xerostomia (dry mouth) where the flow and composition of saliva can cause bacteria build-up, can also contribute to bad halitosis.
Some people are sure they have bad breath in the absence of objective oral malodor. Called imaginary halitosis this condition makes a person believe their breath odor is offensive and is a cause of social nuisance, even though it’s not. Then there are others who think their breath is fine, but they have really bad breath and are unaware.
Then there are those who practice good oral hygiene three times a day and still have bad breath. Simple brushing typically does not eliminate bad breath if it is due to an oral infection or other causes that are not eliminated by brushing.
If you are concerned about your breath, if it does not go away with proper oral hygiene, your dentist should be the first health care professional you see.
You shouldn’t be embarrassed to seek treatment for halitosis. It is a common dental issue we treat and it goes along with giving you a beautiful smile. What’s the use of brilliant teeth if you can’t open your mouth for people to see it for fear of bad breath!
The most important issue for the treatment of halitosis is the detection of the cause or its source by a detailed examination.
At Cunning Dental Group your dentist will work to diagnose the underlying cause and provide treatment. They will do a thorough examination of your mouth to look for signs of causes of bad breath such as gum disease, dry mouth, infections, or tooth decay.
There are several things we can do to treat your bad breath once the cause or causes are determined:
Instructions for effective oral hygiene, tongue cleaning, and mouth rinsing would also be included in any treatment options for halitosis.
Having multiple causes, halitosis may require an interdisciplinary assessment and treatment involving other professionals from medicine, nutrition, and even psychology in the case of imaginary halitosis.
In most cases, your dentist can treat your bad breath successfully. If it’s determined that your mouth is healthy and the bad breath is not intraoral, you can be referred to your family doctor or a specialist.
With a diagnosis that identifies the causes and regular dental appointments, we can create a successful individualized therapeutic approach for each patient seeking relief from halitosis.
Let Cunning Dental Group help you take control of bad breath for good. Contact us today to schedule an appointment!