bad breath, woman covering her mouthLots of us have bad breath at certain times, such as first thing in the morning or after eating certain foods. Persistent bad breath, also known as halitosis, can not only be embarrassing but can also be a symptom of an underlying condition that should be investigated.

Causes

  • The most common cause of persistent bad breath is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss daily, food particles remain in your mouth and cause plaque to form. The plaque contains odour-causing bacteria.
  • Certain foods such as onions and garlic
  • Smoking
  • Chronic dry mouth is a condition where your mouth produces less saliva than normal. It can contribute to bad breath as saliva helps cleanse your mouth by removing particles that cause bad odours. Some medications can cause bad breath where dry mouth is a side effect.
  • Infections in your mouth can be a cause of bad breath, such as an infection following a tooth extraction or oral surgery, as well as tooth decay, gum disease or mouth sores.
  • Although it is much less common, it is also possible for the source of halitosis to be the tonsils, sinuses or stomach.

Treatment for Bad Breath

The first step towards combatting bad breath is to review your oral hygiene routine and adopt good brushing and flossing habits. Review your lifestyle habits too, such as ensuring you drink plenty of water every day and particularly after eating. In a lot of cases halitosis can be improved and prevented with proper oral hygiene.

If improving your regular oral health habits doesn’t improve your bad breath, it’s time to see your dentist. They will conduct a thorough examination and x-rays to see if there are underlying causes or conditions that require treatment. Professional teeth cleaning by a dental hygienist can be effective for treating mild conditions to remove plaque and tartar if gum disease is diagnosed. Your dentist can also advise on the best at-home brushing and flossing products and techniques for your needs.

Please contact us for an appointment if you are concerned about your breath or oral health – we can assess your needs and recommend specific treatment options.