UNDERSTANDING WHY YOU MIGHT HAVE BAD BREATH
Do you end up checking your breath frequently and trying to figure out why it isn't fresh? Does your breath begin to smell foul within moments of brushing your teeth and using mouthwash? Odds are, there is something going on beneath the surface (literally) that needs an exam by a dentist in Littleton, CO. In case you have chronic bad breath, read on to learn more about the causes, how you can treat it, and how you can prevent it.
Halitosis is the scientific term for bad breath. This common dental condition can affect anyone at any time for an assortment of reasons. It is estimated that at one time or another, at least half of Americans have bad breath. While it could hurt your self-esteem to be worried about your breath, the good news is it's usually easy to correct. Most cases of halitosis are caused by plaque and tartar buildup on the teeth. The bacteria from the buildup lets off an odor that smells like rotten eggs.
CAUSES OF BAD BREATH
There is a very long list of all halitosis causes, ranging from minor to major:
- DRY MOUTH: Some medicines can lead to bad breath from dry mouth. If your medication makes your mouth dry, make sure you keep it moist with water and mouthwash.
- EATING SPICY FOODS: Some foods, such as onion, garlic, and spices, can cause bad breath. This is short-lived, not something to worry about, and will normally go away on its own once you brush your teeth.
- USING TOBACCO: Tobacco products are known to cause an unpleasant odor in the mouth. People who smoke or use tobacco products are also more likely to get gum disease, which is a cause of halitosis.
- AN ORAL INFECTION: An oral infection can cause bad breath
- BUILDUP AND BACTERIA: A common cause of bad breath is germs caused by food particles becoming trapped in your teeth. When the bacteria isn't cleaned regularly, it begins to cause a bad odor.
- A SINUS INFECTION: Common ear, nose, and throat problems, such as sinusitis, can cause bad breath
WHEN TO SEE A DENTIST
In case you have terrible breath that is not getting better after improving your oral hygiene and habits, then you may need to schedule an appointment with your dentist. Everyday changes, such as brushing more regularly, flossing daily, and drinking a lot of water should correct your halitosis. If it does not, it could possibly be an indication that something serious is going on. If your dentist feels as though your bad breath is not caused by a dental problem, they might refer you to a primary care physician in Littleton, CO for treatment.
FINDING THE CAUSE
Typically, bad breath is easily treated by a skilled dentist in Littleton, CO. In some scenarios, it could be a symptom that something more serious is occurring, for example tooth decay, gum disease, kidney disease, or diabetes. In your appointment to discuss halitosis, you will likely get a comprehensive oral examination, including x-rays. Your dentist will ask you about your medical history to determine the cause of your halitosis. The appointment will likely end with in-depth instructions on caring for your mouth to avoid tartar buildup and improve your breath.
The easiest way to get rid of bad breath, help avoid cavities, and reduce your risk of periodontal disease, is to consistently practice good oral hygiene. If this does not improve your breath concerns, further treatment may be necessary, depending on the cause. For causes related to oral health, your dentist will provide tips and products to help you control the cause. This might include special toothpastes and mouthwash. In case the halitosis is the result of a buildup of plaque and bacteria on your teeth, your dentist may recommend a deep cleaning plus the daily use of an antiseptic mouthwash and toothpaste. This will kill bacteria and stop it from turning into buildup in the future. If your bad breath is the result of gingivitis, your dentist may recommend an advanced treatment. Periodontal (gum) disease is a progressive condition that could lead to receding gums plus tooth and bone loss. SRP (scaling and root planing) therapy together with oral antibiotics could save your mouth from further damage while improving your breath.
HOW TO AVOID HALITOSIS
There are several approaches to help you prevent bad breath, tartar buildup, as well as gum disease. The simplest of which is to brush your teeth at least twice a day. More often when you eat sugary foods that could become stuck in your teeth. Keep a toothbrush at your office or in your purse for convenience. A toothpaste using an antibacterial agent has been shown to reduce and prevent halitosis. Another very simple fix is to floss your teeth at least once every day. Flossing removes plaque and debris from spots that you cannot see, helping to prevent bacteria from forming in your mouth. Brushing your tongue can also help reduce bad breath since it may harbor bacteria, especially in people who have chronic dry mouth or use tobacco products. Try to keep your mouth hydrated throughout the day. Tap water is the best choice as drinks like soda and coffee can result in a drier mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum can also stimulate the production of saliva. Adjust your diet to avoid foods, such as onions and garlic that can cause temporary halitosis. Finally, be sure to maintain bi-annual checkups and cleanings at your dentist's practice in Littleton, CO to keep your breath fresh and your smile healthy.
CHECK YOUR BREATH
If you're concerned about chronic bad breath, talk to your dentist about possible reasons and treatment options. At Clement Park Dental Care, our experienced team performs oral health exams to diagnosis and treat halitosis for patients of all ages. We're proud to help everybody in Littleton, CO so they can enjoy fresher breath and a healthier smile with preventive oral health care as well as advanced treatments. Speak to our office in Littleton, CO to schedule your consultation.