The Causes of Bad Breath and Your Treatment Options

June 22, 2014 — by Stephen Lipman
Tags: Bad Breath General Dentistry

A woman shows off her bright, white smileIt may be just an inconvenience for some, and it may be a sign of a health issue for others. Whatever the case, bad breath (halitosis) is a real bummer, and it can make first impressions really unpleasant. Even if it seems like just a minor issue, we at Family Dentistry of Windsor take bad breath seriously and can use the latest in advanced restorative dentistry treatments to help you overcome your problems.

Common Causes of Bad Breath

There are a number of different causes of bad breath. When it comes to dental matters, the most common causes include:

  • Poor dental hygiene - If you don't brush and floss properly, food particles can remain in the mouth leading to the growth and thriving of excess oral bacteria
  • Certain foods - Garlic and onions are probably the biggest offenders in this regard
  • Certain beverages - Coffee and alcoholic drinks tend to be most noticeable on people's breath
  • Dry mouth - When the mouth is dry, there is no moisture present to remove dead cells that are left on the tongue, gums, and cheeks
  • Gum disease and tooth decay - The bacteria that causes gum disease and tooth decay is the same that causes bad breath

Other Problems That Could Cause Bad Breath

Use of tobacco products is probably one of the best known causes of bad breath not related to the mouth per se. Bad breath can also be the side effect of a number of different medical conditions and health issues, including:

  • Diabetes
  • Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Bronchitis
  • Respiratory tract infections
  • Sinus infections
  • Kidney problems
  • Liver disease

Dental Treatments for Bad Breath

Treating bad breath usually involves cleaning the teeth and gums and making sure that all parts of the mouth are healthy and in good condition. If gum disease is the cause of the bad breath, usually special antiseptic rinses are provided to keep the infection under control. These medicated rinses reduce issues with bad breath as a bonus to addressing the gum infection.

Addressing Medical Problems That Cause Bad Breath

If your dental health is fine and the bad breath you're experiencing is the result of a medical condition of some kind, it's important that you visit your doctor right away to receive the treatment you need to achieve total wellness. In these cases, the bad breath is the least of your worries.

Tips for Preventing Bad Breath

If you want to prevent bad breath, here are a few things that you can do:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss your teeth every night
  • Use a tongue scraper to remove food and dead cells from the tongue
  • Stay well hydrated by drinking water
  • Use sugar-free chewing gum or mints to mask odors
  • Quit smoking (or just don't start)

Learn More About Your Treatment Options for Bad Breath

For those dealing with bad breath, there are many treatments out there that can help you. To learn more about the treatment options that would be most beneficial to you, contact our dental care center today. We look forward to your visit and discussing how you can improve your dental health and wellness.