Bad Breath Treatment

Most of us occasionally suffer from bad breath, but it’s usually short-lived and simply the result of something we’ve eaten, drunk or smoked. But when someone has chronic bad breath – the sort that’s ever-present and smells quite foul – it quickly becomes a socially isolating and stigmatising condition. However, treating bad breath is often quite straightforward, and the best place to begin is with a visit to your Holistic Dental practitioner.

Bad Breath Treatment to Get Close to Others with Confidence

There are few things that are more off-putting than bad breath. Not just the breath of someone who’s eaten garlic pasta for lunch; had a few too many drinks; or just finished smoking a cigar. Although often pungent and strong, this type of breath can be masked with mints, gum or mouthwash.

The bad breath that we need to be concerned with is that type that’s almost offensively foul-smelling, chronic and persistent. In more cases than not, such bad breath originates in the mouth, although it can also be a side-effect of various medical conditions.

Unfortunately, most people who have bad breath are unaware of it, because it’s difficult for us to smell our own breath. So hopefully, if you have bad breath, a family member or close friend will have the courage to tell you, and if someone you know has a similar problem, you’ll do likewise. It’s something you never want to hear first from a stranger…

How Bad Breath can be Treated or Cured?

Your Holistic Dental practitioner can help identify whether bad breath is caused by some problem relating to your mouth, teeth or gums, such as gum disease, tooth decay, ill-fitting dentures or food stagnation areas (such as cavities).

In our experience, a great deal of bad breath is the result of gum disease, which might simply require scaling and tooth polishing by one of our dental hygienists, or may require more involved treatment such as root planing and the use of antibiotics.

However, while these treatments will help promote good breath, without good oral hygiene practices and regular (at least twice yearly) check-ups by your Holistic Dental practitioner or hygienist, it’s highly likely that bad breath will return.

What are the Bad Breath (or halitosis) Causes?

Bad breath is known as halitosis, a word which comes from the Latin ‘halitus’ (exhalation) and the Greek ‘osis’ (a condition or disease-causing process).

It’s estimated that some 25% of the population suffers from chronic bad breath, which is often caused by sulphur producing bacteria that coat your teeth and gums. The mouth is home to a lot of bacteria that our bodies need for normal existence. These bacteria fall into two main categories – oxygen-loving bacteria (aerobic) and oxygen-hating bacteria (anaerobic). In a healthy mouth they exist in roughly equal proportions. When the balance shifts, and anaerobic bacteria dominate, a foul smell is often the result.

These oxygen-hating bacteria thrive in an environment that is dark, warm, and low in oxygen but with a good supply of protein. When food becomes trapped between teeth, under the gum line or under a poor-fitting denture, these bacteria digest the proteins and release foul smelling chemicals that are called volatile sulphur compounds.

The presence of conditions where anaerobic bacteria thrive, is often the result poor oral hygiene. Other oral causes of bad breath may include:

  • Gum disease, tooth decay and abscesses
  • Dry mouth syndrome (inadequate saliva production often occurs when we get older and can also be a side-effect of certain medications)
  • Sinus/tonsil infections
  • Inferior dentures (porous acrylic bases can become contaminated with anaerobic bacteria)
  • Unclean dentures; faulty dental work

Bad breath can also be a symptom of other medical conditions, however this is reasonably rare. Some of these conditions include:

  • Liver disease or liver failure
  • Kidney infections
  • Lung infections
  • Diabetes
  • Cancer and other metabolic disorders.
What the Other Thing can be Done to Minimize Bad Breath Problem?
  • Maintaining great oral hygiene and a healthy mouth are great ways to control the most common causes for bad breath. Here are some things you should be doing:
  • Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes using fluoride toothpaste that contains an antibacterial agent. It’s also important to clean between the teeth using dental floss or interdental cleaner.
  • Brush your tongue (or use a tongue cleaner) – especially the back of the tongue, but try to avoid gagging. The tongue has a huge surface area and many grooves and pits that make good breeding ground for bacteria.
  • Ask your Holistic Dental practitioner to recommend an appropriate mouthwash. It’s best to use one that contains an antibacterial ingredient, rather than one that just masks your breath.
  • Make sure you drink a lot of water each day, and avoid too much coffee.
  • After meals chew sugar-free gum to help activate saliva. Chewing gum also helps when your mouth feels dry.
  • Eat a healthy diet with at least five portions of fresh fruit and vegetables a day.
  • Visit your Holistic Dental practitioner or hygienist at least twice a year, and have your teeth professionally cleaned as needed.