Halitosis: Prevention and Treatment

Halitosis, or bad breath, can be due to a variety of reasons. Strong beverages like coffee can result in bad breath; some foods that contain spices like garlic or onions can be the culprit. But for millions of people, bad breath is a chronic problem and lack of the appropriate dental hygiene could be the reason.

Bad breath has also been attributed to digestive issues and medical reasons such as infected tonsils. While this may hold true for some, the majority of people that have offensive breath can look to their teeth and their daily dental hygiene regimen as a basis of the problem.

Everyone has bacteria living in the mouth. But when bacteria are allowed to settle on teeth, damage can occur from plaque build-up. Over time, bacteria continue to grow creating a perfect condition for gum disease, also known as gingivitis or the more serious periodontitis.

It is this deterioration in dental health that can cause bad breath. Not only do teeth and gum tissue harbor destructive bacteria, but the tongue does as well.

There are many options to consider preventing halitosis. If your morning coffee is the guilty party, a breath mint may do the trick. But a more appropriate first step may be a trip to your dental office for a professional cleaning and exam.

If you are suffering from gum disease, your dentist can get you on the right path to healthy teeth and gums. And once this step has been achieved, it is up to you to keep on the right track.

Daily flossing is critical. As bacteria grow, the gum tissue is affected. Removing bacteria through flossing can help keep plaque build-up to a minimum. An antibacterial rinse can be of benefit as well.

Brushing at least twice per day with tooth paste or gel using a soft bristle tooth brush is best. Many believe that firmly brushing with a manual tooth brush will aid in removing plaque build-up, but the ensuing gum and enamel erosion from harsh brushing and abrasive tooth paste can do more harm than good.

Finally, those twice yearly visits to your dentist for a professional cleaning and exam along with excellent daily hygiene habits will help keep your teeth and gums healthy and bad breath will be history.

If you are suffering from halitosis and need treatment, contact our skilled dental team today to schedule an appointment.

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