People of all lifestyles and ages can experience halitosis, or bad breath. At Smiles By Myles in Reston, Dr. Wayne Myles knows bad breath treatment is about not only treating the symptoms, but about treating the causes and working to prevent it in the future.
Bad Breath Causes
At Smiles By Myles, a Reston cosmetic dentistry practice, patients can seek treatment for bad breath. To understand and prevent bad breath, patients should understand its causes, which include:
- Tobacco use – Tobacco is naturally odorous and can create a long-lasting smell on a person’s breath as the tobacco smoke enters the lungs and is repeatedly exhaled through the mouth. Tobacco use also leads to mouth cancer, which can have an odorous smell.
- Smelly foods – Some foods like garlic, coffee, and onions are naturally odorous, or can cause an odorous reaction during the digestion process.
- Dry mouth – Dry mouth results in an inadequate amount of saliva in a person’s mouth. This means that food particles aren’t broken down and may stay in the mouth. These particles can become odorous themselves, and they lead to bacterial plaque, which creates a bad smell.
- Infection or disease – Gum disease, tooth decay, and other dental afflictions can create an odorous smell, as they usually contain bacteria that are odorous. Additionally, some internal infections unrelated to the mouth can cause a smell that travels through the breath and creates halitosis. These may include liver conditions and cancer or other diseases that damage or kill tissue.
- Poor oral health – Without a regimented dental hygiene plan, patients will often experience bad breath. It is important to maintain regular brushing, flossing, and rinsing that can stop plaque and food particles from accumulating and spoiling within the mouth.
- Certain medications – Some medications can cause the body to create a smell or can cause dry mouth, which can cause bad breath.
Preventing Bad Breath
The ideal way to deal with bad breath is to prevent its occurrence in the first place. In examining its causes, some can be avoided in an effort to prevent bad breath. By stopping tobacco use and the ingestion of smelly foods and drinks, a patient greatly reduces his or her proclivity for bad breath.
To prevent dry mouth, patients can chew gum, drink water, and use a prescribed medication to moisturize the mouth with artificial saliva. Bad breath can originate on or in between the teeth, on the gums, the roof of the mouth, and the tongue. It is important that each of these parts of the mouth stays well-hydrated and clean.
For patients with more serious causes, including infection and disease, it is important that they consult with Dr. Myles at his Reston restorative dentistry practice so he can develop a dental plan that will treat decayed or infected teeth and help eliminate halitosis.
To prevent the start of bad breath, patients should maintain regular cleanings and checkups with a dental professional to ensure that the teeth and gums are in good health. If a dental exam does not identify the cause of bad breath, patients may want to visit a general physician or specialist to deal with the problem.
For more information on bad breath and its treatment, please contact Smiles by Myles today for a confidential consultation.