Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Halitosis, or “bad breath” is a common, but embarrassing condition that often has a dental cause. A thorough examination by our Dentist can help determine the cause and rule out a more serious condition.
How can I tell if I have bad breath?
Unfortunately, those around us are often aware of our bad breath before we are, as it can be difficult to smell your own breath. If it is not too uncomfortable, you could ask a close friend or family member for their opinion. To test your own breath, try licking the back of your wrist and scraping the back of your tongue with a spoon. Let the saliva on your wrist and the spoon dry for a few seconds, and then smell them. Smelling the spoon and the back of your wrist will give you a good idea what your breath smells like to everyone else.
What causes bad breath?
There are a variety of dental and non-dental causes for bad breath. Everyone suffers from transient or temporary bad breath at some point in their life, due to factors like smelly foods, hunger, dry mouth and poor dental hygiene. Chronic bad breath is often a dental hygiene issue, but it could be a sign of a serious dental problem or non-dental medical condition. The biggest dental cause of bad breath is bacteria on the tongue or trapped between the teeth and gums. Often our Dentists can help you reduce or eliminate this kind of bad breath. In any event, visit our office so we can recommend treatment and rule out any more serious medical issues.
What can I do about my bad breath?
Many cases of bad breath can be relieved by proper flossing and brushing, at least twice a day, especially after meals. Cleaning your tongue with a brush or tongue scraper will also help alleviate the odor in many cases. Make sure to drink plenty of water, as dry mouth is often a cause of bad breath. There are many over-the-counter products available, from toothpastes to antibacterial mouthwashes. We can help you determine which products would be best for your circumstances.
What can you do about my bad breath?
We will start by giving you a thorough examination to see if there are signs of tooth decay or gum disease that are contributing to the bad breath. A thorough cleaning of your teeth and gums, combined with proper brushing and flossing may reduce or eliminate the problem. She may recommend the use of special mouthwashes designed to control the bacteria that cause bad breath. A dental examination is also important to rule out more serious causes of bad breath.