Halitosis (Bad Breath) Treatments
Time it takes: Depends on the cause
Halitosis is often one of the toughest things for our patients for whom, despite proper brushing and flossing and using mouthwash and breath mints, bad breath seems to linger. We can help. Normally, halitosis is a buildup of bacteria that is hard to remove. We get after the underlying cause, so when we clear out the bacteria, not only does your mouth feel fresher, but it’s healthier, too.
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are many possible causes for bad breath, some of which are easier to address than others. That’s why it’s so important to determine the cause. A breath mint may help for a few minutes, but unless we address the real issue, we won’t be able to cure the halitosis. Some possible causes of bad breath:
- Eating certain foods that absorb into your blood (garlic and onions are two prominent examples). These foods can affect your breath until they leave your body.
- Failing to brush and floss regularly leads to food collecting in the mouth and breeding bacteria.
- Forgetting to care for your tongue when you brush.
- Gum disease. Because this is a possible cause of halitosis and can be very serious, it’s important to investigate the cause of your bad breath sooner than later.
- Dry mouth, which lessens your ability for saliva to clear out food and debris.
- Tobacco products.
- A health condition that could range from respiratory infections to diabetes or organ disorders.
The specific treatment for bad breath will depend on the cause of the halitosis. If we treat the cause, we get rid of the symptom, which is the bad breath.
If the cause is poor oral health care or extensive plaque and tartar, we’ll treat it in our office with a thorough cleaning as well as consulting with you on steps you can take at home to maintain good oral health between visits.
For halitosis caused by gum disease, we’ll treat that as well or possibly refer you to a periodontist. A periodontal cleaning will help reduce the inflammation in the gumline and may also solve the bad breath problem.
How do you diagnose halitosis?
We’ll be able to diagnose halitosis during your cleaning and exam. If we determine you have halitosis, we’ll check your entire mouth searching for the cause. If we can’t find the cause, it’s usually because it’s a medical issue and we’ll refer you to an appropriate doctor.
How can I prevent bad breath?
Preventing bad breath before it happens is ideal and thankfully there are several ways you can keep your breath fresh and your mouth feeling good between dental visits.
- Brush and floss twice daily
- Brush your tongue, cheeks and roof of your mouth (most of the bacteria that causes bad breath live on your tongue)
- Quit smoking
- Eat healthy foods that help keep saliva flowing
We’re Ready to Help You
At Cajon Dental, everything we do is centered on you, your health and your experience.