Halitosis: Causes and Treatment Options

Halitosis: Causes and Treatment Options

Imagine speaking with a co-worker face-to-face as you work collaboratively on a project. However, the experience is irksome because the other person’s breath is so unpleasant. Then, imagine the tables being turned: This time, it is you whom your fellow colleague cannot tolerate because of your bad breath. Nothing could be more humiliating. Your bad breath is known in the dental field as halitosis, which has various causes and treatment options.

Halitosis can occur if you fail to brush and floss your teeth every day. Food particles that have not been removed from your mouth foster an environment in which bacteria grow on the tongue, around the gums and between the teeth, which causes bad breath. In addition, chewing tobacco or smoking cigarettes can contribute to bad breath.

Halitosis may also be a sign that you have gum disease, which occurs when plaque—the sticky substance left behind by food—builds up in the mouth. The bacteria cause toxins to develop, and these toxins make your gums inflamed. If the problem progresses, the gums pull away from the teeth and form pockets that become infected.

Many other causes of halitosis exist, including dental cavities, certain medications, dental appliances that fit poorly in the mouth, yeast infections in the mouth and a medical condition known as dry mouth. Diseases such as acid reflux, chronic sinus infections and even diabetes can also contribute to bad breath.

Your dentist can treat the causes of halitosis: For instance, if gum disease is the culprit, your dentist can treat this disease. In addition, many antiseptic mouthwashes kill the germs that cause unpleasant breath. Your dentist can recommend a product that will work best for you.

You also can chew sugarless gum to stimulate the flow of salvia, which keeps your mouth moist and thus helps keep bad breath away. If a medication you are taking is causing your halitosis, your doctor may recommend an alternative. In addition, brushing and flossing regularly will keep your breath fresh.

Having halitosis can be embarrassing, and many mouth rinses and chewing gum products on the market only mask the smell rather than getting rid of it. Contact us today to learn how you can tackle the actual cause of bad breath and finally begin to speak and breathe confidently in public once again.