Halitosis is the technical name for bad breath. Often, halitosis is a symptom of another oral health issue. Regular checkups from a dentist Wichita KS are essential to eliminating bad breath and protecting your overall oral health.
Bad breath can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor oral care, bacteria on the tongue, gum disease, dry mouth, tobacco products, or an underlying health condition.
Poor oral health means the patient isn’t regularly brushing or flossing their teeth, or getting regular dental cleanings and exams. When you don’t brush your teeth, the bacteria caused by food that is stuck between your teeth, and on your tongue, will increase as the food particles rot. The rotting food particles then create bad odors in your mouth. This can happen with people who use dentures as well. Improper cleaning of your dentures can cause bacteria and fungi to collect on the dentures and cause bad breath.
Bacteria on the tongue can cause bad breath as well. Your tongue has a textured surface in which bacteria can get caught. Gently brushing or scraping your tongue every day as part of your oral hygiene routine can help reduce or eliminate odor caused by bacteria that is collected on your tongue. For the most effective clean, brush back and forth, side to side, and then rinse your mouth with water.
Gum disease, also called periodontal disease is a major cause of bad breath. Those with gum disease may also experience a bad taste in their mouth in addition to the bad odor. This condition is serious and needs to be addressed by a dental professional as soon as possible.
Dry mouth, also called Xerostomia, is caused when there is a reduction in saliva which leads to the mouth not being able to clean itself properly, leaving food particles left behind. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, a salivary gland disorder, or mouth breathing. There are treatments for dry mouth, so talk to your dentist or primary care provider if you are suffering from dry mouth and bad breath.
Tobacco products cause bad breath but also contribute to gum disease and oral cancer. If you smoke, stopping this habit will help reduce bad breath, as well as your risk factors for other more serious conditions.
Bad breath can also be a symptom of an underlying health condition including a respiratory infection, diabetes, gastrointestinal, liver, or kidney disorders. Talk to your primary care provider about other possible health conditions if the issues above are not applicable.
Bad breath is more than embarrassing, it can indicate a much bigger issue. During your next regular cleaning, or sooner, if necessary, talk to your dentist about bad breath. Together you can walk through possible causes, and work on a treatment plan. You can contact Reflection Ridge Dental at 316-721-2024 to schedule an appointment for your regular exams, or if you have a concern.