Bad Breath/Halitosis

image48Bad breath is often about much more than occasionally eating the wrong foods. Although foods such as garlic, onions, coffee, soft cheeses, and fish can certainly contribute to breath odor, constant and consistent bad breath is likely a signal of a more significant oral health problem.

Regular bad breath, or halitosis, is caused by bacteria inside your mouth. Most of the odors caused by these bacteria disappear for a time when you brush and floss. However, if you have periodontal disease, the bacteria can live in the deep spaces (pockets) between the gum tissue and tooth, where neither the toothbrush nor floss is able to reach. This means that no amount of brushing can rid you entirely of your problem.

Periodontal disease is not the only thing that can cause bad breath. Smoking is one of the worst sources of halitosis because the nicotine coats your teeth, tongue, cheeks, and gums, providing an additional surface for the bacteria to adhere to. There are also some medications that can cause your saliva to dry out. Without saliva to “flush” your mouth, the bacteria can hang around more, and in turn cause you to have bad breath.

Bad Breath Solutions

Although drinking plenty of water and chewing sugarless gum may help to keep the saliva flowing, regular dental check-ups and cleanings are vital to helping keep your mouth clean and healthy.  Over-the-counter breath fresheners can be a good adjunct to keeping your breath fresh as well.

Dr. Victor can help determine the source of your bad breath and help you to keep it away permanently. After all, keeping bad breath away is important not only because of the health repercussions, but because it can affect everything from your self-esteem to your personal life.