GOING BENEATH THE SURFACE TO UNDERSTAND HALITOSIS
Do you find yourself checking your breath regularly and wondering why it smells bad? Does your breath start to smell bad within minutes of cleaning your teeth? It's possible there's something happening under the surface that requires a bit of investigation by a board-certified dentist in Wake Forest, NC. If you've got chronic bad breath, then keep reading to find out more about what may be causing it, treatment options, and prevention.
ABOUT BAD BREATH
The scientific term for bad breath is halitosis. This dental problem can affect anybody for a variety of reasons. It's estimated that at one point or another, between 50 and 60 percent of the population experience halitosis. Although it may damage your confidence to worry about your chronic bad breath, it's typically simple to fix. Most instances of bad breath are brought on by tartar and plaque buildup in the mouth. The bacteria in the buildup causes a foul-smelling odor that can smell like boiled eggs.
CAUSES OF HALITOSIS
There's a long list of halitosis causes, which range from minor to serious:
- BACTERIA AND BUILDUP: The most common cause of halitosis is bacteria from debris getting caught in your mouth. If the buildup isn't cleaned off daily, it starts to create a foul odor.
- YOU HAVE A DRY MOUTH: Some medications can cause bad breath by causing dry mouth. If your medicine makes your mouth feel dry, be sure to help to keep it moist with mouthwash and water.
- A DENTAL INFECTION: An infection in your mouth may lead to halitosis
- AN INFECTION IN YOUR SINUSES: Common nose and throat conditions, like a sinus infection, may be the source of your halitosis
- SPICY FOODS: Some foods, like garlic, onion, and spices, may result in foul breath. This is temporary, not serious, and will typically subside by itself after your brush your teeth.
- TOBACCO PRODUCTS: Tobacco is proven to create a bad odor. Smokers and tobacco chewers are also more likely to have gum disease, which causes bad breath.
DO YOU NEED TO SEE A DENTIST?
If you've got bad breath that isn't getting better after adjusting your dental hygiene and diet, then you might want to schedule a consultation with a dentist. Lifestyle modifications, such as cleaning more frequently, flossing every day, and drinking plenty of water ought to improve your bad breath. If it doesn't, it may be a sign that something more serious is happening. If a dentist feels like your halitosis isn't brought on by a dental issue, they may recommend seeing a primary care doctor in Wake Forest, NC for answers.
In most cases, bad breath is easily treatable by an experienced dentist in Wake Forest, NC. In certain situations, it may be a sign that something bigger is happening, such as gum disease, tooth decay, diabetes, or a kidney disorder. At your consultation to talk about bad breath, you will probably undergo a thorough oral exam, with digital x-rays. Your dentist may inquire about your health history to ascertain the reason for your halitosis. The consultation will probably end with detailed instructions on taking care of your mouth to prevent plaque buildup and treat your bad breath.
The first and simplest option to reduce bad breath, avoid cavities, and also lower your chance of gum disease, is to always have good oral hygiene. If this doesn't stop your halitosis, additional treatment may be required, based on the reason. For causes linked to dental health, your dentist may work with you, providing products and tips that will help you address the issue. This may include specific mouth rinses and toothpastes. If your bad breath is caused by a buildup of bacteria and plaque on your teeth, then your dentist might suggest a deep cleaning followed by the regular use of an antibacterial mouth rinse and toothpaste. This will kill germs and prevent it from building up in your mouth. If your halitosis is caused by gum disease, your dentist may suggest a periodontal treatment. Gum disease is a progressive problem that can result in receding gums as well as bone and tooth loss. A scaling and root planing procedure along with a round of antibiotics can save you from additional damage and improve your breath.
There's numerous ways to help you avoid halitosis, plaque buildup, and periodontal disease. The easiest of which would be to brush at least two times per day. More frequently if you eat sticky foods that may become lodged in your teeth. Have a toothbrush at your workplace or in your handbag. A toothpaste with an antibacterial agent has been proven to decrease and protect against halitosis. Another simple trick is to floss at least one time daily. Flossing removes food particles and plaque from areas you can't see, to stop bacteria from building up between your teeth. Cleaning your tongue may also decrease bad breath as it can harbor bacteria, particularly in people who smoke or have chronic dry mouth from medication. You should also keep your mouth moist during the day. Water is the ideal option since beverages like coffee and soda may lead to a drier mouth. Chewing gum may keep your mouth moist by stimulating saliva. Change your diet to limit foods, like garlic and onions that are known to cause bad breath. Finally, make certain to keep regularly scheduled cleanings at your dentist’s office in Wake Forest, NC to help keep your breath clean and your smile bright.
When you are worried about your bad breath, then speak with your dentist about potential causes and treatment choices. At DentalWorks - Wake Forest, our staff performs dental examinations to identify and treat halitosis for our patients. We're pleased to help everyone in Wake Forest, NC so they can have better breath and a healthier mouth with proactive care in addition to restorative treatments. Contact our office in Wake Forest, NC to schedule your appointment.