Halitosis – Solutions for Bad Breath

Halitosis is a problem that most people are embarrassed to discuss. Even though it is a common problem and it is not something that you should feel ashamed about having. Many people think that bad breath is a sign that you have a terrible lifestyle, but that is not true. Here we explain what halitosis is and what you can do about it.

female dentist examines female patient with bad breath

What Is Halitosis?

Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, is when a person has an unpleasant odor coming from their mouth. While it is generally not a severe medical condition, it can be embarrassing and cause social anxiety. Halitosis is an uncomfortable condition that can affect anyone. However, if you're suffering from persistent bad breath, your dentist can suggest solutions to treat it.

What Causes Bad Breath?

modle mouth with toothbrush between teeth and modle tooth with cavity

If you've noticed that you have persistent bad breath, you may wonder what the cause is. There are many possible causes of bad breath, and once you know what they are, you can deal with the problem. The most common causes of bad breath are dental and gum problems, but underlying medical conditions can also cause some. In addition, certain foods cause bad breath. Moreover, smoking, tobacco products, and excessive alcohol consumption can cause breath odor.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Poor oral hygiene is often the most common cause of bad breath as plaque and bacteria can build up on the teeth and tongue, causing an unpleasant smell.

Gum Disease

Another possible cause of bad breath is gum disease. Gum disease is a condition in which your gums become inflamed and infected. Because of this, bad breath is a common symptom of gum disease. Gum disease occurs when there is a build-up of plaque on the teeth.

Medical Conditions

female emergency dentist treats emergency dental patient

Medical conditions that can cause bad breath include dry mouth, GERD, sinus infections, and diabetes. For example, suppose you've been snoring, taking certain medications, or simply prone to sinus issues. In that case, you could have a medical condition that's causing your breath to stink. Also, some people suffer from chronic dry mouth due to diseases and salivary gland problems. See your doctor, who can perform a halitosis evaluation to find out for sure.

Certain Foods Can Also Cause Bad Breath

For example, garlic and onions are known to cause bad breath. The reason is that bacteria in the mouth break down food particles and release chemicals that cause bad breath. Hence, proper brushing and flossing are essential to remove the particles and bacteria from the mouth.

How Is Halitosis Diagnosed?

Halitosis, or bad breath, can be embarrassing and frustrating. However, diagnosing the cause of halitosis is often tricky. The best way to diagnose halitosis is to visit your dentist or oral hygienist. They will be able to examine your mouth and teeth to see if there is any sign of gum disease or tooth decay. If the dentist rules these out, they may recommend that you see a doctor to rule out any other potential causes of bad breath. 

What Is The Treatment For Halitosis?

a dentistry, patient examination and treatment at the dentist


The treatment for halitosis depends on the underlying cause. For example, if the reason is poor dental hygiene, improving oral hygiene habits is the treatment. Proper oral hygiene habits may include brushing and flossing teeth more regularly and using a tongue scraper and mouthwash. If the cause is due to a medical condition, then the treatment will be based on addressing the underlying condition. For example, if the reason is sinus infections, the treatment will involve antibiotics. The best way to treat bad breath is to visit your dentist, as they can determine the root of the problem and suggest treatment options.

How Can I Prevent Halitosis?

You can do several things to prevent halitosis, including brushing and flossing regularly, utilizing mouthwash, and avoiding certain foods. Here are a few things you can do to prevent halitosis or bad breath:

  1. Practice good oral hygiene by brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing daily. Brushing and flossing will help remove food particles and bacteria from your mouth. It would help if you also scraped your tongue to remove any build-up of bacteria and rinse your mouth with an alcohol-free mouthwash before bed.
  2. Avoid foods that cause bad breath, such as garlic, onions, foods high in sugar, and alcoholic beverages. If you smoke, quitting will also help you get rid of bad breath and avoid all tobacco products.
  3. Drink plenty of water to keep your mouth hydrated and saliva flowing.

Bad breath is a common problem. It has many causes, ranging from poor oral hygiene to the kind of bacteria that live in your mouth. If you find that you suffer from bad breath, it is vital to understand its causes to determine the best course of treatment.

Brought To You By: Aria Dental of Annapolis

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