Halitosis, or bad breath, is estimated to be the third most frequent reason for individuals to seek dental care. In fact, nearly 20% of Americans are affected by this condition. Yet, not all who think that they have Halitosis have a genuine problem. If you suspect that you have bad breath, it’s important to know that it may not be your fault. When it comes to genuine Halitosis, this breath condition often stems from several underlying issues.
When professionally examined, those diagnosed with Halitosis often discover that the causes are minor and can be helped by adjusting their oral hygiene. In some cases, bacteria below the gum line and on the back of the tongue are to blame. Even so, other disorders of the nasal cavity, sinuses, throat, lungs, esophagus, or even the stomach can contribute to Halitosis as well.
One likely culprit is dry mouth. Saliva plays an important role in digesting food and maintaining the pH levels in the mouth. For someone with dry mouth, the pH is generally lower, increasing the acidic levels. At this point, bacteria forms and is not able to be washed away, which is another critical role of saliva. As it sits and settles on the gums and tongue, it will begin to smell.
Eliminating Bad Breath
There are several oral hygiene habits that prove to be successful in eliminating bad breath. Proper brushing, including brushing the tongue, cheeks, and roof of the mouth, will certainly help remove bacteria in the mouth. In addition, flossing will help remove trapped food and plaque between the teeth and gums. However, if all of your efforts seem to be in vain, and your bad breath persists, it’s imperative to see your dentist.
Dental professionals will study your current oral health as well as your overall health history. Chances are, a professional cleaning along with mouthwashes and toothpastes aimed at raising oxygen levels in the mouth will help tremendously. Dentists can also recommend a safe germicide, which reduces the proteins that stir up odor-causing bacteria.
Pleasant Plains Dental is ready to come alongside you in the war against bad breath. We understand that this can be an embarrassing and frustrating condition, and we will treat you with a caring and conscientious approach. If you have genuine Halitosis, you can be sure that we are equipped to help you eliminate it. A smile that you can be confident about is important to us. Call us today!
Posted on behalf of Dr. Henry J. Ernst, Pleasant Plains Dental