Dr. Charles Sutherland has helped countless patients in the greater Houston area by offering excellent dental care services. This includes cosmetic dentistry to enhance the appearance of smiles as well as restorative dentistry treatments that improve dental health and wellness. The backbone of the practice, however, is solid general dentistry that addresses all sorts of problems, be they minor or major.
One problem that seems minor but could be the sign of something major is bad breath (halitosis). Let’s take a moment to consider bad breath and how it can be treated.
Common Causes of Bad Breath
Some of the most common causes of bad breath include the following:
- Oral Bacteria – The bacteria that naturally occurs in the mouth feeds on food particles and creates unpleasant odors in the process.
- Tooth Decay and Gum Disease – Tooth decay and gum disease are both caused by oral bacteria, and in each of these common dental problems, bad breath is a common symptom/sign. The more severe the problem, the more likely your breath will be worse.
- Certain Foods and Beverages – There are certain foods and beverages that are likely to cause your breath to be not so pleasant. The list includes onions, garlic, alcoholic beverages, coffee, fish, and spicy dishes. Be careful when having these, knowing full well what they can do to your breath.
- Tobacco Products – Cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco can all cause your breath to be unpleasant. Of course, bad breath is the least of your worries when it comes to tobacco products, but it’s another compelling reason to quit.
- Dry Mouth – When your mouth lacks saliva, it keeps food particles in place for bacteria to feed on, allowing both tooth decay and gum disease to progress at a faster rate. In addition, the saliva isn’t able to remove dead cells in the mouth, letting them fester.
- Various Health Problems – Bad breath is a common sign/symptom of a number of different health problems. This includes conditions that affect the sinuses, the throat, the lungs, and the digestive tract. Be sure to consult with a physician if your bad breath is accompanied by aches, pains, and other worrisome symptoms.
Treatments for Bad Breath
Treating your bad breath effectively will involve identifying the exact cause and targeting it.
For bad breath caused by oral bacteria, tooth decay, and/or gum disease, restorative dentistry will be used to fill the cavity and address the infection of the gums. In addition to the use of dental restorations and grafting for the gumline, antiseptic rinses and antibiotics may be used to get the bacteria under control.
If your bad breath is made worse by dry mouth or related to dry mouth, the ideal treatment option will generally involve the use of artificial saliva products, such as lozenges, sprays, or gels.
Prevention of Bad Breath
To prevent bad breath, we recommend the following:
- Do not use tobacco products
- Reduce consumption of alcoholic beverages
- Drink water to remain hydrated, keep your mouth moist, and remove food particles from your teeth
- Brush your teeth after every meal
- Floss your teeth after every meal
- Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups
Schedule a Consultation with Charles E. Sutherland, DDS, PA
For more information on dental treatment options and what you can do to have the healthiest and most beautiful smile possible, we urge you to contact our cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Dr. Sutherland and his team are here to speak with you about all of your options for advanced dental care.