People are quick to blame bad breath on clichéd suspects such as garlic, onions, and coffee, but these are not always the culprits. Bad breath may be the result of a condition called halitosis. It causes persistent bad mouth odor, can be uncomfortable and embarrassing for most people.
The good news is halitosis is remediable. The skilled family dentists at Smile League Dental can explain why you have the condition and provide steps to take to rid yourself of the condition. At Smile League Dental, families all over Joliet trust our dentists to help preserve their oral health and keep their smiles fresh.
Regardless of how long you have had your condition or the specific of your case, we can help you get rid of your bad breath. Book an appointment with one of our family dentists in Joliet today to get started on dealing with the halitosis bothering you.
Halitosis – What is it?
Halitosis is a Latin word derived from halitus (breathed air) and osis (pathologic alteration). In some cases, it is named differently. Foetor oris, oral malodor, mouth odor, bad breath are other terms used to describe halitosis.
Halitosis is a symptom where a noticeably unpleasant odor is present and individuals with this condition are usually unaware of it. Halitosis is the third most common reason that people seek dental care, after tooth decay and gum disease.
Unlike ‘morning breath’ or a strong smell that lingers after you eat spicy foods containing onion or garlic, Halitosis persists for an extended amount of time and may be a sign of a more serious condition.
Halitosis is birthed by volatile particles that may be the result of pathological or non-pathological causes. It can originate from an oral or a non-oral descent. An estimated 65 percent of Americans have halitosis and Americans spend more than $1 billion a year on counter-halitosis products.
Ninety percent of Halitosis cases are attributable to oral cavity issues. These oral cavity issues in turn cause poor oral hygiene, tongue coat, food impaction and more. More profound oral sources include periodontal (gum) diseases, throat infections.
While halitosis is often linked to something happening in your mouth, it can also be a sign of diabetes, liver or kidney diseases and gastric reflux. There are few things more embarrassing than Halitosis. But even when you take good care of your mouth, circumstances beyond your control can still result in bad breath.
Halitosis – Causes and Effects
What does halitosis smell like? The quick response is – it varies. The foundational causes can influence the smell. People are reluctant to talk to dentists about halitosis because they consider it embarrassing. Know that you are not alone. It is comparatively common and often easy to treat.
The three major causes of bad breath are oral issues, diet and medical conditions. Oral issues include poor oral hygiene which could cause gingivitis, tonsil stones and dental abscess, among others. All of these make for a smelly mouth.
One common oral issue is periodontal (gum) disease. This causes bad breath and bad taste in the mouth. It is caused by plaque – that sticky colorless film of bacteria that forms on the teeth.
In most cases, bad breath is set off by food particles remaining in the mouth. Whether on the teeth, gums, or tongue. Bacteria present in the mouth break down these particles and as they die, they release a sulfur compound – giving the breath an unpleasant odor.
Though rare, medical conditions such as lung diseases, certain cancers, tonsil infections and blood disorders can also cause halitosis. A common medical cause is diabetes because of wavering blood sugar levels. Most halitosis cases start inside the mouth. Dry mouth, clinically known as xerostomia, may also cause bad breath due to decreased salivary flow. Other causes include Sinus (running nose), diabetes, smoking and using tobacco.
What Can I Do About It?
Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day. You could even brush after each meal. However, brushing only reaches 60 percent of the surface of the tooth. Flossing cuts down the build-up of food specks and plaque between the teeth. A tongue scraper can also come in very handy in banishing the bacteria and dead cell build-ups in the cracks and crevices of the tongue.
Also – drink plenty of water and avoid alcohol and tobacco as they both dehydrate the mouth. Chewing gum can help stimulate the production of saliva. But it is preferable that the gum be sugar-free.
Sugary foods are also linked to bad breath and you may want to reduce, or you avoid those. Onions, garlic, and other spicy foods also contribute to poor breath. You should also reduce your coffee consumption.
Mouthwash Also Helps
Because most halitosis cases start inside the mouth, the first step for treatment should be to measure the quality of your basic oral care routine. One ultimate focus should be cleaning your tongue. Kill the germs that lead to bad breath by cleaning it with a tongue scraper. Then rinse with a microbial mouthwash.
Rinsing twice a day isn’t just a way to keep your breath fresh – it’s the key to keeping your entire mouth clean. The force of the swoosh attacks the bacteria wherever they are. Whether in the tongue, teeth, or gums. You should do this at least twice a day. You should swoosh and rinse in a forceful manner to get rid of all the bacteria. Your dentist can suggest an effective mouthwash for you. An ideal mouthwash will kill millions of bacteria in your mouth in 30 seconds.
Why You Need a Family Dentist
Your dentist is your best bet to weed out the roots of bad breath. Your dentist can use sophisticated detectors such as Halimeters, BANA tests and more to determine the central cause of the odor. A Halimeter measures sulfur levels. BANA tests measure the enzymes produced by halitosis-causing bacteria.
Do you have a family dentist yet? If not – do something about it today. You might think it is wearying to pay regular visits to the dentist. But it does a lot of good to nip dental issues in the bud before they become difficult to deal with.
If you are in Joliet, IL, contact Smile League Dental 24/7 at 815-782-6243. Once you have a personal or family dentist, it will be easier to discuss and seek counseling whenever you need it. It will be less embarrassing to talk about foul breath to someone you are familiar with.
Schedule a Consultation with Smile League Dental Today
Don’t let the embarrassment of bad breath rob you of your laughter and freedom. Our dentists at Smile League Dental can help you get rid of the problem and help monitor your oral health. Book an appointment today to get started on the process of dealing with Halitosis for good.
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