Bad breath, or halitosis, is a condition that no one wants to encounter. In many cases, a good brushing may be all that is needed to have fresh breath again. However, there are cases in which the underlying cause of halitosis will require more specialized treatment.
What is Behind Bad Breath?
Bad breath can have any number of causes. The bacteria that reside in your mouth could be the culprit, feeding on the leftover food bits in your mouth to create a smelly leftover product. Your bad breath can also be caused by the type of foods and drinks you consume. For example, onions, garlic, beer, and coffee can all make your breath smell foul. However, even though many of the causes of halitosis are harmless, sometimes unhealthy habits and health concerns can be the reason behind the smell:
- Gum disease. Persistent bad breath that may be accompanied by a bad taste in your mouth could be an indication of advanced periodontal disease.
- Tobacco and smoking. In addition to staining your teeth, smoking can give you extremely bad breath and increase the likelihood that you will develop other health complications. Tobacco can irritate your gum tissues and create conditions in your mouth in which gum disease can develop.
- Dry mouth. If your mouth is not creating enough saliva, your mouth is not being washed out as it should be. Although excessively breathing through your mouth can cause dry mouth, it can also result from problems with your salivary glands or by taking certain types of medicines.
- Illnesses. Certain health conditions, such as diabetes, gastric reflux, kidney disease, sinus complications or liver disease, can result in bad breath.
How to Treat Halitosis
In order to treat your bad breath, you have to address the underlying reason for the condition. If the cause is related to sensitivity to certain foods that can cause complications to your digestive system, you may have to avoid those foods. It may be necessary for you to speak to your physician about a treatment plan to resolve your condition. Once you have directly addressed the cause of your halitosis, in addition to brushing and flossing, there are other steps you can take to alleviate your bad breath:
- Start chewing gum. According to the American Dental Association, chewing sugarless gum can help temporarily eliminate bad breath, while the cause of the condition is being resolved.
- Add probiotics to your diet. This is particularly helpful if your halitosis stems from a digestion-related condition. Taking a probiotic supplement or increasing your intake of foods that contain probiotics can help your digestive tract reach the correct pH levels.
At Dental Care of Frisco, we can help you determine if your bad breath is caused by an oral health issue. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and like us on Facebook to stay up-to-date with our tips.