Bad Breath: Causes of Halitosis and How We Can Treat It

By on July 08, 2014

A happy couple smiling togetherWhen patients come to Clarksville Smiles, they experience great dental care. This is because Dr. Richard Ribeiro and Dr. Emily Boyd are committed to offering the best treatments possible, whether it's advanced general dentistry and preventative care or state-of-the-art cosmetic dentistry.

One dental health issue that many people do not take as seriously as they should is bad breath, which is also known as halitosis. Let's look into bad breath right now.

Common Causes of Bad Breath

The most common causes of bad breath are related to oral bacteria and poor dental hygiene. The mouth contains natural bacteria that feeds on sugars and food particles on the teeth. When this happens, the bacteria produces unpleasant odors.

Poor dental hygiene is one of the most common reasons why bad breath occurs. When a person does not brush his or her teeth or floss regularly, there is a greater likelihood of there being food particles between their teeth for bacteria to feed on and create unpleasant odors.

Dental Issues Can Make Your Bad Breath Worse

Gum disease (the bacterial infection of the gums) and tooth decay can make bad breath worse. Dry mouth can also lead to more problems with bad breath. Not only does it exacerbate the tooth decay and gum disease, but the lack of saliva in the mouth means that soft tissue and dead cells on the tongue and within the cheeks will not be removed and allowed to fester.

Certain Substances Can Make Your Bad Breath Worse

There are certain substances known to make bad breath worse. These include:

  • Garlic
  • Onions
  • Coffee
  • Fish and other kinds of seafood
  • Alcoholic beverages
  • Tobacco products

Bad Breath May Be the Sign of a Health Problem

In some cases bad breath may be related to a systemic condition or disease rather than a dental health issue. Some health problems that may cause bad breath include:

  • Diabetes
  • Respiratory tract issues
  • Digestive tract issues
  • Throat, tonsil, and lymph node problems
  • Sinus infections

Professional Dental Care Treatments for Bad Breath

Professional dental care treatments tend to involve addressing any sort of present problems that affect the teeth and gums. This means treating tooth decay and remedying gum disease; the former can be treated through the use of dental restorations and the latter through antiseptic rinses and/or antibiotics. If dry mouth is an issue, the salivary glands can be unblocked if that is the root cause, or artificial mouth moisture products can be recommended.

If a person's bad breath is unrelated to a dental health issue, it's is recommended that the patient see his or her general practitioner to see if the bad breath is related to a medical problem.

Tips for Preventing Bad Breath

When it comes to preventing bad breath, we recommend the following:

  • Quit using tobacco products (or just don't start)
  • Use a tongue scraper to clean your tongue
  • Drink water to remain well-hydrated
  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day
  • Floss your teeth at least once a night
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups

Learn More About Advanced Dental Care Treatments

To schedule a visit with Dr. Richard Ribeiro and Dr. Emily Boyd, we encourage you to contact our dental care center today. The entire team at Clarksville Smiles looks forward to your visit and helping you achieve excellent dental health in the process.

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Dr. Ribeiro has been my dentist for many years, and he has always provided exceptional service. His staff is very professional and courteous. They always go out of their way to ensure I have a pleasant experience. Tina Reed

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Clarksville Office

2305 Rudolphtown Rd
Clarksville, TN 37043

Open Today 8:00am - 5:00pm

More Info Directions (931) 645-6362