The technical term for chronic bad breath is halitosis. If you’re one of the many people who struggle with this condition, you likely know all about the adverse effects bad breath can have on your personal and professional life. Luckily for Sage Dental Care patients, our Westminster dentist and team can help you achieve and maintain optimal oral health and that includes minty fresh breath. If you need help with halitosis, please don’t hesitate to give our caring dental team a call. We’ll evaluate your condition and create a plan of action. We are always here to help.
Causes of Bad Breath
Like most oral health conditions, patients suffer from halitosis for a number of reasons. The first step in creating an effective plan to improve bad breath is determining the underlying cause. While the causes may change, bacteria is often the culprit when it comes to bad breath. Oral bacteria break down foods and aid in digestion, but like any living organism, bacteria absorb nutrients and excrete waste. This bacterial byproduct is the sticky, acidic biofilm we often refer to as plaque. Depending on the foods we eat and the types of oral bacteria, plaque buildup also leads to bad breath. Oral saliva has a neutralizing effect that prevents foul odors caused by plaque.
In addition to poor oral hygiene and the consumption of specific foods, there are numerous causes of bad breath including:
- Dry mouth – without adequate saliva production, plaque remains in place leading to bad breath
- Overabundance of specific bacteria – certain types of bacteria produce plaques with foul odors, and some patients are genetically predisposed to have more of this type of bacteria
- Untreated gum disease – the infection and excessive plaque buildup associated with gum disease leads to bad breath
Prevention & Treatments for Chronic Bad Breath
Patients need to maintain a thorough at-home and in-office hygiene routine to ensure oral health and avoid bad breath. These plans should include brushing teeth for two minutes at a time two times each day and flossing at least once. With regular preventive dentistry appointments, we can partner with patients to keep their smiles healthy. Additionally, dental checkups in our Westminster office twice a year are essential. Patients whose bad breath is caused by a lack of bacteria-neutralizing saliva may want to include an oral rinse or other treatments for dry mouth. We may also recommend an antimicrobial mouth rinse for patients with too much oral bacteria. Whatever the underlying cause of your bad breath, we’ll help you find the right treatment.