Bad breath, known as Halitosis in dental terms, is not only a cause for health concern but also a cause for social embarrassment. Your dentist is the best person to help you identify the cause of the bad breath and thereby tackle it.
What causes bad breath?
- Certain foods like onion and garlic contribute to bad breath.
- Conversely, fasting or dieting also causes bad breath due to infrequent eating.
- Dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a condition resulting from insufficient saliva flow in the mouth. This could be due to various systemic conditions, and also due to certain medications.
- Use of tobacco products and smoking are sure-shot reasons for bad breath. Your dentist can help you kick the habit.
- Sometimes, bad breath can be an indicator of a medical disorder, like infection of the respiratory tract or gastrointestinal disturbance.
How can I get rid of my bad breath?
Regular dental checkups with professional cleaning are essential. These will also help your dentist to identify and tackle any gum problems or other disorders at an early stage.
Regardless of the cause, good oral hygiene is an important step in eliminating bad breath. If you wear any removable dental appliance, its thorough cleaning and maintenance is important.
How do you treat bad breath?
If the halitosis is of oral origin, as in most cases, the dentist will be able to help you tackle the problem.
Gum disease in the initial stages can be reversed with a basic cleaning and polishing. Gum therapy may be advised in severe cases.
If your dentist feels your mouth is otherwise healthy, they may refer you to your physician to determine if the cause of the halitosis is systemic in origin.