We have all experienced it – being on the receiving end of a blast of bad breath harsh enough to make our eyes water. However, no one is immune from the possibility of bad breath (also known as halitosis). What causes this all too common issue, and more importantly, how can you stop bad breath in its tracks? You guessed it; our services here at Sherman Oaks Dental will help.
Who can have bad breath?
Anyone can get bad breath. A baby, a man, a woman – even dogs and cats or horses! This is definitely not a problem that strikes only one age demographic, gender, or even species. (Did you know there are dental services available at your veterinarian’s office? If Fido’s kisses are unbearable, you might want to check into doggie dentistry.)
What exactly is halitosis?
Halitosis is generally called simply “bad breath”, “morning breath”, etc. Interestingly, many with bad breath aren’t aware of it themselves, and wouldn’t say they have bad breath if asked by a dentist. Ask a family member or a friend to be honest with you and tell you if they notice bad breath (especially if you find yourself constantly offered breath mints or chewing gum.)
Where does bad breath start?
Dr. Bryan Weyneth notes that nearly 90% of bad breath cases actually originate in the mouth itself. However, it’s not always the inside of the mouth, the surface of the tongue, or the gums that are to blame; in certain cases, the sinus cavities, tonsils, esophagus, or stomach can also be culprits. If you have persistent, severe bad breath, it is best to get an official diagnosis and pinpoint the cause of the issue so proper treatment steps can be taken.
Why does halitosis make your breath smell bad?
The exact cause of the halitosis can affect the why. If bacteria in your mouth or on your tongue is the cause, the smell is coming from the bacteria. If food is impacted between teeth or below the gums, the smell originates from the decay. Diabetics often have halitosis due to their inability to properly control their blood glucose levels, which leads to a sickly sweet “fruity” smell on their breath.
When is halitosis at its worst?
As mentioned previously, “morning breath” is another name for halitosis, and many people notice an increased and unpleasant odor after sleeping all night. Bacteria can multiple overnight in your mouth, which is why it is so important to brush and floss well and use mouthwash before retiring for the evening. Certain foods can also increase the chances of bad breath, which is why many recommend skipping garlic or onion-heavy dishes when on a romantic date.
Finally – How can halitosis be treated?
Once again, the cause of halitosis should be pinned down before a responsible treatment plan can be enacted. If bacteria hiding in the recesses of the gums is to blame, a periodontal cleaning followed by a strict at-home oral care regimen can often solve the problem. For diabetics, managing blood sugar levels can eliminate the “soft fruit” smell. Chewing gum, breath treatments and mouthwash can help mitigate odors caused by strongly flavored food choices. If halitosis persists and is extremely severe, ask Dr. Bryan Weyneth about other options for managing bad breath.
Still have questions? Call our office today and schedule your next preventive appointment.