Everyone suffers from bad breath from time-to-time; especially if we’ve had a head cold or have a fondness for eating large amounts of onions and garlic. But for some members of the population bad breath is a chronic battle that has them throwing dollars at in-effective mouth rinses and washes.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath, or Halitosis, can be caused by a number of things: prompting the need to talk to a dentist and receive an accurate diagnosis before rushing out and buying a case of some minty mouthwash. Rinses and washes tend not to treat the underlying cause of bad breath – but merely mask the embarrassing side-effects. The problem with treating the symptom, and not the cause, is that time and money is often wasted on products that don’t provide any long-term solution, and can in some individuals make the situation worse. Our general dentists recommend chatting with your family dentist to establish the reason for chronic bad breath, especially as certain medical conditions can be the cause.
Oral Bacteria and Halitosis
The biggest culprit of bad breath is high levels or oral bacteria. Lack of daily brushing and flossing enables food particles to be lodged between teeth and remain in the mouth – increasing levels of bacteria. Oral bacteria doesn’t only impact the health of teeth and gums – it also causes some foul smells. Seeing a hygienist on a regular basis for a dental cleaning ensures that bacterial levels are kept in-check, and other conditions like gum and periodontal disease (known to cause breath issues) don’t develop. Visiting a hygienist is probably your best defense in the fight against halitosis – so don’t forget to maintain regular cleaning appointments.
Bad Breath and Medications
Unfortunately certain medications and medical conditions can result in an individual experiencing breath issues. Some medications cause oral tissues to become overly dry – creating an environment where saliva flow is decreased and the rinsing benefits of saliva are lost. Diabetes, gastrointestinal concerns, chronic post-nasal drip and sinusitis can also be the reason behind bad breath – letting your dental team know you have a medical condition will help them treat your dental health accordingly.