26 Mar Halitosis; Causes and Treatment

Halitosis, otherwise known as bad breath, can cause us to feel less confident and make us less willing to socialize. Embarrassing and uncomfortable, we may try to temporarily cover it up by using breath spray or by rinsing with mouthwash. But if halitosis persists, there could be an underlying issue that requires dental treatment in order to alleviate the problem. At Fairbanks Family Dental Care, we love to see our patients meet others with a confident smile. Here are some of our recommendations and possible answers for the problem of halitosis:

Habits that can cause Halitosis:

  • Smoking
  • Eating diets high in acids and sugars
  • Diets heavy in garlic and onions (though, this usually causes only temporary bad breath)
  • Drinking excess caffeine and alcohol
  • Certain cancers or infections in the mouth, tonsils, or gums
  • Dry mouth—saliva production helps to flush away bacteria
  • Medications that cause dry mouth can also lead to halitosis
  • Poor dental hygiene or lack of flossing, brushing, and dental cleanings
  • Most commonly: cavities, cracked teeth, gum disease, or dirty dentures

Best ways to correct bad breath:

  • The easiest way to prevent bad breath is to see your dentist regularly! Your biannual dental cleaning and examination appointment is much more than just removing plaque. Your exam will also detect any dental problems like cracked or broken teeth, or gum issues—some of the causes of halitosis.
  • Improve your oral care habits at home; brush gently twice daily, using a clean toothbrush; follow brushing with flossing and using mouthwash. And remember to brush your tongue, too, since it is home to bacteria that can cause cavities. Your at-home dental care is very important for cleaning away food debris and preventing plaque buildup and cavities.
  • Drink more water, while limiting your access to staining drinks like coffee and tea, and avoiding sodas and sports drinks that are full of sugar. Water flushes away bacteria that could harm your teeth, and it’s got many other benefits for your overall health.
  • If you’re on medications that cause dry mouth, talk to our office about moisturizing mouthwashes that can help. We may also recommend fluoride treatments to help with dry mouth and halitosis.

It’s possible that a trip to our offices could solve your halitosis crisis. We specialize in keeping your teeth healthy, and we’ll examine your teeth and gums to search for any underlying causes. Our staff at Fairbanks Family Dental Care of Fairbanks Alaska is ready to talk about halitosis, or about any of your dental needs. Contact us if you have any questions.

Images used under creative commons license – commercial use (11/1/2017)  Vladimir Pustovit (Flickr)