Tatum Point Dentistry

Bad Breath or Halitosis: What's Behind it

August 25, 2022
4 Min Read
Bad Breath or Halitosis: What's Behind it

What is bad breath?

Bad breath happens. You're not alone if you've ever had that uncool feeling on a date, at a job interview, or just talking with friends. Bad breath is also known as halitosis or "fetor oris." This problem can be embarrassing and cause great concern, anxiety, and low self-esteem among sufferers. Studies show that 50 percent of adults have had bad breath, or halitosis, at some point in their lives. This can result from poor dental health habits and can signify other general health problems. 

Different causes of halitosis

No wonder store shelves are stocked with chewing gum, mints, mouthwashes, and other products designed to combat bad breath. But many of these products are only temporary measures because they don't address the cause of the problem. Bacteria, gum disease, tooth decay, dry mouth, ill-fitting braces, and infections are some leading causes of bad breath. Sometimes problems in the intestinal tract, liver, and kidneys are at the root of the problem. Certain foods, health conditions, and habits are among the leading causes of bad breath. However, since halitosis can indicate an underlying health problem, it is essential to know when it is just a nuisance and when it is necessary to see a medical or dental professional.

Treatment options for bad breath

Sophisticated detectors can identify the chemicals responsible for bad breath, although they are not always available. When this happens, your dentist will probably smell both your mouth breath and your nose breath and rate the odor on a scale. Since the back of the tongue is usually the source of the odor, the dentist may also scrape it and grade the odor. Depending on the cause of the halitosis, it can be improved with proper and consistent dental hygiene. However, if simple self-care techniques do not solve the problem, you should see your dentist again to make sure that the cause of the bad breath is not a more severe condition.

Teeth cleaning to combat halitosis

In the best case, good dental hygiene is usually enough to get rid of bad breath. Clean teeth and tongue every day at home with a good toothbrush and use regular cleaning products for a perfect smile. But if, even with all the dental hygiene, you still feel that your breath stinks too quickly, then it may be time for a teeth cleaning procedure. If plaque remains on your teeth for too long, it can cause cavities or turn into an even more complex and more dangerous version of itself, tartar. Suppose plaque and tartar are left on your teeth for months and months without the intervention of a dental professional. In that case, you will begin to develop the early stages of gum disease, also known as periodontal disease. Teeth cleaning procedures at least once a year with our professionals at Tatum Point Dentistry can help you get rid of halitosis and plaque buildup in general. 

Preventative dentistry for bad breath 

Because bad breath can make you feel self-conscious, numerous steps can be taken to eliminate bad breath and keep your mouth healthy. 

Bad breath can be reduced or prevented:

  • Brush your teeth twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. 
  • Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash to loosen and release that trapped food debris.
  • Use dental floss or an interdental cleaner between teeth once a day. 
  • Drink plenty of water. This will keep your mouth moist. 
  • Eating hard fruits and vegetables and less meat help remove plaque and food particles that cause mouth odor.
  • Stop smoking and chewing tobacco products. Ask your dentist for advice on how to quit.
  • Visit your dentist regularly, at least twice a year, for an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning. And treat other problems that may be the cause of bad breath. 

Your allies to fight halitosis in Phoenix, AZ

At Tatum Point Dentistry, various factors can cause a patient to skip teeth cleanings, including dental anxiety or just the hustle and bustle of everyday life, whether working, going to school, or staying home with the kids. It doesn't matter if it's been a while since your last dental visit; if you're concerned about the cause of your bad breath, don't hesitate to go to the dentist as soon as possible. Dr. Gonzalez and his team want to help you get your dream smile back in Phoenix, AZ. Schedule your appointment at (602) 207-8832. You can trust that we will always put your overall and oral health first.

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