What You Need To Know...

When a dentist speaks about halitosis, they are using the more sophisticated, medical term for “bad breath.” Depending on what causes the bad breath, it can happen occasionally or become a more chronic condition. Most cases of halitosis are caused by bacteria in the mouth. The mouth is warm and moist, which creates the perfect condition for bacteria to develop. 80% of cases of halitosis are caused by something in the oral cavity.

Bad breath that is caused by the presence of bacteria in the mouth can be treated easily with the assistance of a dental professional. The first step is brushing the teeth after every meal. This includes brushing the gums and the tongue. Flossing between the teeth can remove particles of food, and mouthwash can be used to give your mouth a fresh, minty smell. Maintaining regular visits at the dental office for cleanings and examinations can also help maintain a healthy smile free from bacteria.

Types of occasional halitosis such as “morning mouth” are typical and considered a fairly normal issue that is not related to health concerns. However, if you are experiencing chronic bad breath, it may a sign of serious issues.

Bad breath may be caused by the following:

  • Poor oral hygiene habits
  • Decay in the mouth caused by food particles left behind
  • Salivary gland problems that result in dry mouth
  • Periodontal disease and other infections inside of the mouth
  • Respiratory tract infections such as the throat, sinus, or lungs
  • Systemic illnesses including liver disease, diabetes, kidney disease, acid-reflux, lung disease, and sinus conditions

When treating halitosis, a dentist will start by performing a physical evaluation of the mouth to determine the cause of the problem. Patients who are experiencing bad breath due to systemic issues may be referred to their family physician. A periodontist may be needed for patients who have severe cases of periodontal disease that requires special treatment.

If you are struggling with swollen, painful gum tissues that bleed and are experiencing bad breath in conjunction with these problems, it may be time to make an appointment at our office for a prompt examination.