What Causes Halitosis (Chronic Bad Breath)?
Halitosis can be occasional or chronic bad breath, while it can be a source of sensitivity for people who experience it, it is a common problem, and it is definitely treatable! Bad breath is essentially caused by an excess of certain populations of bacteria in the mouth. Sometimes this can be a refection of ineffective oral hygiene or diet, it may also require professional care if the root cause is an oral infection, dry mouth, gingivitis, periodontal disease, prescription medication use, or certain medical conditions. If halitosis is a concern for you, Dr. Bains can help diagnose the cause and determine an effective approach to treat your halitosis concerns.
Halitosis Signs & Symptoms
If you have halitosis you might be experiencing some of the following signs and symptoms:
- You have a white film on your tongue, especially towards the back near your throat
- You have thick saliva and seem to constantly clear your throat
- You have severe “morning breath”
- You regularly have a sour, bitter, or metallic taste in your mouth
- Your tongue feels inflamed or you experience a burning sensation on it
- You have plaque buildup around your teeth
- You experience frequent dry mouth
- You experience post-nasal drip
Treating Bad Breath at Home
Patients with bad breath can sometimes experience an improvement in their symptoms by paying greater attention to their oral hygiene by:
- Avoiding the use of any tobacco product
- Brushing after every meal
- Brushing the tongue as part of every toothbrushing
- Cleaning between the teeth with dental floss or a Waterpik at least once a day
- Use of an alcohol-free mouthwash as a final step in the oral hygiene routine
Dry mouth (also known as xerostomia) caused by a salivary gland condition or medication usage, can also contribute to the growth of certain halitosis causing bacteria in your mouth. If you experience frequent dry mouth accompanied by bad breath, that could be the cause. Maintaining adequate moisture levels in the mouth with the use of a dry mouth spray, rinses, or moisturizing gel can be beneficial under these circumstances.
Professional Halitosis Treatment
Effective treatment of halitosis depends on the origin of the problem. Dr. Bains can help decide how to address your concern of bad breath based on the contributing factors identified during examination including microbiological testing that is simple to obtain, and pain-free, to determine if the bacterial origin is a factor. Lewis Estates Dental Centre uses the OraVital system to identify elevated levels of aggressive bacterial populations in the mouth which may be contributing to halitosis concerns.
Halitosis treatment should run parallel with your regular dental hygiene therapy. Ensuring you maintain your recommended frequency of dental hygiene is essential to controlling the bacterial population in your mouth. Severe or rampant gum disease or periodontal disease has a high correlation with the overgrowth of certain bacteria, so keeping the bacterial populations of the mouth in balance is extremely important. Regular dental exams can also detect oral infections such as cavities or impacted teeth which can also contribute to bad breath. Once these issues are resolved through effective dental treatment, halitosis will usually dissipate.
Book a Consultation
To have Dr. Bains conduct a halitosis assessment, perform microbiological testing, and discuss treatment options, contact our office to book an appointment.