Dental Health and Bad BreathKenosha Dentist Appointment

Everyone knows that bad breath, (called halitosis) can result from eating certain foods. However, chronic bad breath is a different problem and a cause for concern. It can be caused by poor dental health habits or may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by unhealthy lifestyle habits.

Dr. Michael A. Walsh Dental Health and Bad Breath Photo

What Dental Problems Are Associated With Chronic Bad Breath?

Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth may be warning signs of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. The bacteria cause toxins to form in the mouth, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone. Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental caries.
The medical condition dry mouth (also called xerostomia) can also cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten and cleanse the mouth by neutralizing acids produced by plaque and washing away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be caused by the side effects of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth. This is why most people will have bad breath in the morning. During sleep,especially in those who sleep with their mouths open, not as much saliva is being produced.

Many Other Diseases and Illnesses May Cause Bad Breath

Here are some to be aware of:

  • chronic bronchitis
  • diabetes
  • gastrointestinal problems
  • liver and kidney problems
  • post nasal drip
  • respiratory infection
  • sinusitis.

However, bad breath as a result of these diseases is far less likely than the more likely dental causes. Unless you have other symptoms of the above diseases, you will most likely want to start with a trip to your dentist. In most cases, yourdentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and that the odor is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your family doctor or to a specialist to determine the odor’s cause and treatment plan. If the odor is due to gum disease, for example, your dentist can either treat the disease or refer you to a periodontist, a dentist who specializes in treating gum conditions.

Why Do Poor Habits Cause Bad Breath?

If you don’t brush and floss your teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, which promotes bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This causes bad breath. In addition, odorcausing bacteria and food particles can cause bad breath if dentures are not properly cleaned. Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products can also cause bad breath, stain teeth, reduce your ability to taste foods, and irritate the gums.

Halitosis and Children

Like adults, most cases of halitosis in children result from an inadequate oral hygiene routine. Kids often brush too quickly or not thoroughly, so it’s important to show your children how to brush and floss correctly and effectively and teach them the importance of oral hygiene. Oral hygiene and a proper diet should solve most cases of bad breath in kids.However, parents should also watch out for the following, which can cause halitosis as well:

  • cavities
  • enlarged adenoids
  • sinusitis
  • upset stomach or other gastrointestinal problems.

Bad breath in kids can be avoided. If your child’s diet is balanced and his oral hygiene routine is sufficient, see a dentist or physician if halitosis continues.

What Can I Do to Prevent Bad Breath?

Bad breath can be reduced or prevented if you:

  • Practice good oral hygiene.
  • Brush twice a day to remove food debris and plaque.
  • Brush your teeth after you eat (keep a toothbrush at work or school to brush after lunch).
  • Use floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and
  • plaque between your teeth once a day.

How Important is Flossing?

One of the most important aspects of oral hygiene is the use of dental floss, because it removes the decaying food remaining and
plaque that stuck between the teeth. If this food decay and plaque are not removed properly it causes irritation to the gums, thus allowing the gum tissue to bleed more easily. Proper dental flossing is recommended at least once a day and preferably before bedtime. This way it helps prevent gum disease, receding gums, and cavities forming between the teeth. Oral irrigation is also recommended for cleaning teeth and gums. Oral irrigators reach up to 4 mm under the gum line. To disrupt plaque and bacteria, they use a
pressured, directed stream of water. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, too.

The Importance of Tongue Cleaning

Cleaning the tongue is essential part of daily oral hygiene, since it eliminates the
whitish/yellowish coating of bacteria that cause bad breath, fungi, decaying food
particles, and dead cells from the dorsal area of the tongue. Cleaning the tongue
also helps protect the teeth because it also removes bacteria species which
cause tooth decay and some gum problems.

  • Massage the gums to improve circulation to the area
  • Replace your toothbrush frequently.
  • Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning.
  • See your dentist regularly – at least twice a year. He or she will conduct an oral examination and professional teeth cleaning and will be able detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odor.
  • Stop smoking/chewing tobacco-based products. Ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.
  • Drink lots of water. This will keep your mouth moist.
  • Chewing gum(preferably sugarless) or sucking on candy (preferably sugarless) also stimulates the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria.
  • Make a list of the medications you take. Some medications may play a role in creating mouth odors.

What Products Can I Use to Eliminate Bad Breath?

You can buy a number of mouthwashes over-the-counter that claim to eliminate bad breath. However, keep in mind that many of these
mouthwashes generally provide only a temporary way to mask unpleasant mouth odor. There are, however, several antiseptic mouth-rinse
products available that instead of simply masking odor, kill the germs that cause bad breath. Ask your dentist about which product is best for you.
In accordance with FDA regulation, we do not make any therapeutic claims for any dietary supplements; however, there are Dietary Supplements
considered helpful in combating breath odor:

  • Chlorophyll (alfalfa is a good source)
  • Vitamin C and bioflavonoids heals the mouth and helps prevent bleeding gums
  • Acidophilus replenishes ‘friendly” bacteria in the digestive tract which improves dental health
  • Garlic is a natural antibiotic. Use an odorless form!
  • Vitamin A (and carotenoid complex) is needed to control infection and healing in the mouth.
  • Vitamin B complex is needed for proper digestion
  • Anise, cloves, fennel and parsley are all helpful for mouth odor.

The Role of Food and Drink

The role of foods in our well-being is cannot be discounted, not only food helps muscles and bones but also help gums and teeth. Vitamin B from breads and cereals and vitamin C from fruits and vegetables contribute both to healthy gum tissue.

Leave a Reply

Recent News
Is Low Vitamin D the Culprit in Cavities?
What are the Stages of Gum Disease?
Routine Cleaning at the Dentist Saves 11-year-old Girl’s Life