How a General Dentistry Can Treat Bad Breath
Dealing with bad breath can be embarrassing. General dentistry can be the first step in helping to treat chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, in many people. With an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment, a dental professional can help you get this issue under control.
Understanding the causes of bad breath
Chronic bad breath is often caused by a buildup of food particles and bacteria in the mouth. However, there are some situations where halitosis can be the result or side effect of a dental or medical issue. For this reason, it is important to discuss bad breath with your dentist so they can pinpoint the underlying cause and develop an appropriate treatment plan.
Poor oral hygiene
When food is chewed and mixed with saliva, it starts to break down as one of the first steps of the digestive process. Some food particles stay trapped on or between teeth where they continue to decompose and develop bacteria in the mouth. The result of this process is an often unpleasant odor, leading to bad breath. Patients who fail to brush and floss on a regular basis are more likely to experience this on a regular basis.
Saliva plays an important role in dental health. It helps neutralize acids and sweep away harmful bacteria. When your body does not produce enough saliva, a condition known as dry mouth, it can lead to a host of oral health issues, including bad breath.
Illness, infection, and underlying conditions
Bad breath that is sudden, particularly foul-smelling, or accompanied by an unpleasant taste may be a sign of a potential infection. This is even more likely if the patient is also experiencing:
- Severe or persistent pain
- Oozing or drainage
Respiratory illnesses, acid reflux, certain cancers, and specific medications or medical treatments can sometimes cause halitosis as well. In young children, trapped food particles, specifically those in the nasal cavity, can lead to bad breath.
Using general dentistry to treat bad breath
For many patients, a thorough professional cleaning helps remove the plaque and buildup that lead to odors in the mouth. A dentist may demonstrate proper techniques and recommend certain products, such as mouth rinses, tongue scrapers, or an electric toothbrush, to encourage a deeper clean at home. If bad breath is caused by infection or decay in the mouth, the dentist can treat the underlying cause to help eliminate the problem. This may mean dental work, medications, or a combination of both.
Dry mouth is most often treated with simple lifestyle changes first. Increasing water intake, using rinses for dry mouth, and avoiding products that make symptoms worse, such as alcohol, caffeine, tobacco, and decongestants, are key. If better habits are not enough, your dentist may prescribe medication. Bad breath caused by underlying medical conditions will likely result in a referral to a physician.
If you are experiencing chronic bad breath, visit a general dentistry practice. It is important to determine the underlying cause and to treat it promptly to prevent complications. Fresher breath means a healthier mouth and can boost confidence as well.
Request an appointment here: https://www.dentistofvisalia.com or call Visalia Care Dental at 5599751213 for an appointment in our Visalia office.
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