Halitosis or Bad Breath
Most of us strive to achieve a smile that looks beautiful, healthy, and clean, but how good is an attractive smile if the breath does not smell fresh? Foul breath can be a cause of embarrassment and can easily ruin an intimate moment. While it is very common for patients to occasionally experience bad breath, a more persistent problem is likely the sign of an underlying health condition.
How do you find out if you have halitosis? People are almost never able to detect when their breath is unpleasant because the nose becomes adapted to one’s own smell. Our experienced dentists at Lane Ends Dental Practice can help you assess whether you have a problem with halitosis , as they extensive training in identifying and treating the many different causes of bad breath.
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by a variety of factors. In most cases, it is caused by food remaining in the mouth - on the teeth, tongue, gums, and other structures, collecting bacteria. Dead and dying bacterial cells release a sulphur compound that gives your breath an unpleasant odour. Certain foods, such as garlic and onions, contribute to breath odour. Once the food is absorbed into the bloodstream, it is transferred to the lungs, where it is exhaled. Brushing, flossing and mouthwash only mask the odour.
Periodontal (gum) disease often causes persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth, and persistent bad breath may mean a sign that you have gum disease. Gum disease is caused by plaque - the sticky, often colourless, film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. Dry mouth may also cause bad breath due to decreased salivary flow. Saliva cleans your mouth and removes particles that may cause odour. Tobacco products cause bad breath, stain teeth, reduce your ability to taste foods and irritate your gum tissues.
Bad Breath Odours associated with an illness;
- Diabetes - acetone, fruity
- Liver failure - sweetish, musty
- Acute rheumatic fever - acid, sweet
- Lung abscess - foul, putrefactive
- Blood dyscrasias - resembling decomposed blood
- Liver cirrhosis - resembling decayed blood
- Uraemia - ammonia or urine
- Kidney failure - ammonia or urine
- Diphtheria, dysentery, measles, pneumonia, scarlet fever, tuberculosis - extremely foul, fetid odor
Bad Breath Treatment
Daily brushing and flossing, and regular professional cleanings, will normally take care of unpleasant breath. And don't forget your often overlooked tongue as a culprit for bad breath. Bacterial plaque and food debris also can accumulate on the back of the tongue. The tongue's surface is extremely rough and bacteria can accumulate easily in the cracks and crevices. Controlling periodontal disease and maintaining good oral health helps to reduce bad breath. If you have constant bad breath, make a list of the foods you eat and any medications you take. Some medications may contribute to bad breath.
At Lane Ends Dental Practice our dentists are experts in identifying and treating the many different causes of halitosis. We will ask you about your personal habits, diet and medical history, as well as the history of your symptoms. After a thorough physical examination in order to assess the source of the problem, we will provide you with a treatment plan so you can be confident that your breath is fresh and pleasant to others.