Bad breath, also known as Halitosis can be an embarrassing problem. It is believed to be caused by poor oral hygiene or in some cases can be a sign of other medical conditions.
Causes of bad breath
- Lifestyle habits like smoking is a contributing factor to bad breath.
- Poor oral hygiene. If you do not clean your teeth properly food particles get caught between the teeth and on the gums. If not removed the food decomposes and the build-up of bacteria in your mouth produces unpleasant odours.
- Failure to clean dental appliances such as braces, plates and dentures correctly, increases the risk of decay and yeast infections thus causing bad breath.
- Persistent bad breath can arise due to the build-up of plaque on the teeth and can lead to gum disease. The bacteria in plaque, produces toxins, thus causing irritation and inflammation of the gums. This can result in the destruction of gum tissue and gum disease.
- Bad breath can be caused by a lack of saliva leading to the medical condition called Xerostomia or dry mouth. Saliva has a neutralising role to play in oral health. It helps to wash away food particles, dead cells and acids produced by plaque. Tooth decay is the result of insufficient saliva thus increasing the risk of gum disease and tooth decay. Dry mouth can also be the result of prescription drugs, mouth breathing or problems with salivary glands.
- Some diseases that lead to bad breath include the respiratory tract infections (such as bronchitis or pneumonia), sinus infections, acid reflux, diabetes and liver and kidney problems.
- Eating food containing onions and garlic and other highly flavoured ingredients can also lead to having transient bad breath The food is digested and absorbed into the bloodstream and is carried to the lungs from where it is expelled as you breathe.
Treatment options to address bad breath
There is no one treatment for bad breath. The treatment will depend on what is causing the problem.
- Booking an appointment with a dentist at the dental gallery in Point Cook is the first step. A thorough examination will be carried out and an attempt will be made to diagnose the cause of your bad breath and outline the treatment required
- Plaque and hardened tartar can cause bad breath. Have your teeth professionally cleaned by a hygienist to remove the hardened tartar or plaque from your teeth. This can improve your breath.