While most people associate dentists with cavities, root canals and teeth cleaning, bad breath treatment is one of the common reasons people visit our El Centro dentist office. Halitosis or bad breath is a very embarrassing problem, especially if it is chronic. It is little wonder that large portions of store shelves are devoted to products like mouthwashes, gum, mints, etc. designed to fight bad breath. However, because few, if any, of these products, address the root of the problem, all they succeed in doing is temporarily masking the odor. Bad breath treatment involves finding and treating the cause of the halitosis.
Improving your oral hygiene, i.e. brushing thoroughly at least twice a day, using floss regularly, cleaning your tongue and avoiding foods like garlic and onions may be all it takes to get rid of halitosis. However, in some cases the problem is a little more complicated. If your bad breath persists even after you make these changes, you need to come in and see us, simply because bad breath can be symptomatic of a more serious problem. For example, the causes of bad breath include:
- Oral Infections: Tooth decay, gum disease or sores in the mouth can all produce halitosis. Periodontal disease, which is an advanced stage of gum disease, is caused by a buildup of oral bacteria and plaque that collects places that are hard to reach, i.e. under the gumline and between the teeth. The gums recede leaving pockets where bacteria thrive, leading to swollen bleeding gums, pus-filled cavities, and chronic bad breath. If not treated, the bacteria will attack and destroy the bone structure which means the teeth will get so loose that they will have to be extracted, or fall out on their own. Coming in for a bad breath treatment allows us to identify if you do have an infection and to treat it.
- Ill Fitting Or Loose Dentures: Food particles get trapped under dentures that do not fit properly, or are not cleaned regularly. The resultant bacteria can cause particularly offensive odor.
- Dry Mouth: Because saliva not only helps digest food, but also keeps our mouth moist and helps control bacteria, bad breath can be caused by an excessively dry mouth. Saliva helps wash away food particles that would otherwise stick to the surface of the teeth leading to a build-up of plaque, the yellowish, sticky film of bacteria on the surface of, and between, teeth. Plaque is the primary cause of tooth decay because bacteria erode the enamel then infects the softer inner layer of the tooth which, as it begins to rot, also begins to produce an offensive smell.
Bad breath treatment involves a very thorough examination of your mouth and an equally in-depth review of your medical history. Should we find that your bad breath originates in your mouth, we will discuss the best course of treatment to eliminate it. This may involve treating cavities, gum disease, etc. However, should we suspect that there is another underlying and potentially more serious reason for your halitosis we will recommend that you see your physician to find the cause. For example, bad breath can be caused by an infection of the nose, throat or sinuses such as ‘tonsil stones’ which are formed when bacteria and other debris get trapped in the nooks and crannies of the tonsils get trapped, and ultimately calcifies. Pneumonia or bronchitis, metabolic disorders can all contribute to the problem. First, however, our El Centro dental office will rule out any oral health issues.
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