Bad breath, also called halitosis, can make you self-conscious. It can be the result of poor dental hygiene, certain health conditions, and can be exacerbated by the foods you eat, certain medications and other lifestyle choices. Bad breath may also be a sign of gum disease. Only a dentist can determine the cause of and treat your bad breath. For help finding a local dental professional, search for a dentist near you.
Common Symptoms Of Bad Breath
The most obvious symptom is bad breath itself, but other signs of halitosis to look for include:
- A white coating on the tongue, especially at the back
- Dry mouth
- Buildup around teeth
- Constant sour, bitter metallic taste
If you have any of these symptoms regularly, you may be suffering from halitosis. If you are at all self-conscious about your breath, contact our office nearest you to be seen by one of our dentists. They will ask you about your oral care routine and examine your mouth to see if there are any underlying problems that could be causing your bad breath. The dentist will also share an oral care routine with you that will help prevent bad breath from reoccurring.
The strength of the odor may vary depending on the underlying cause.
Common Causes Of Bad Breath
There are many reasons you may be suffering from bad breath. Common causes include:
- Eating foods with strong odors, such as garlic or onions.
- Poor oral health habits such as not brushing and flossing regularly. This can cause a buildup of bacteria on your teeth and gums, leading to bad breath.
- Certain medications
- Smoking or chewing tobacco, which cause bad breath and can also cause discolored teeth.
- Improperly fitted dentures.
The best way to determine the cause of your bad breath is by making an appointment with your dentist. They can then review your symptoms, make an accurate diagnosis and give you their recommended treatment plan.
How Can I Stop And Prevent Bad Breath?
Fortunately, many causes of bad breath can be prevented. Treatment for bad breath includes the following:
- Practice good oral hygiene. Make sure you brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. You should replace your toothbrush every two to three months. Also, flossing regularly and using an antibacterial mouthwash may help prevent bad breath.
- See your dentist regularly. See your dentist at least twice a year or as often as recommended by your dentist. Regular teeth cleanings and treatment for gum disease can help treat and further prevent bad breath. For help finding a dentist, search for a dentist near you.
- Stop smoking and chewing tobacco products.
- Drink lots of water. By keeping your mouth moist, you stimulate the production of saliva, which can help wash away bacteria in your mouth. Chewing sugar-free gum and sucking on sugar-free candy may also help.
Who Treats Bad Breath?
Typically, your general dentist can treat the causes of bad breath. But if your dentist determines that you have a healthy mouth, you may be referred to a general physician or specialist to determine the cause. If the underlying cause is determined to be periodontal disease, you may also be referred to a periodontist or gum specialist.
See your dentist twice a year for a routine cleaning to help prevent bad breath. preventative care is pivotal in having good oral health, which contributes to overall health. Your dentist can also teach you how to brush your teeth and floss properly to avoid bad breath returning. To find a dental office near you, visit our locations page.