While bad breath is embarrassing, the condition can also be a sign of a more serious dental health problem. In dentistry, bad breath is known as halitosis, and it can indicate serious underlying dental issues such as tooth decay and gingivitis. If you have bad breath and cannot find a cause in your diet or oral hygiene practices, it is important that you schedule an appointment with your dentist as soon as possible. While breath fresheners and mint chewing gum may seem to help, they really only mask the symptoms of a deeper problem. There are proper treatments that can eliminate the source of your halitosis and cure the problem completely.
Causes of Halitosis or Bad Breath
Contrary to popular belief, true halitosis has nothing to do with anything in your diet. Over time, bacteria can build up on your teeth and gums, causing infection in your gums or tooth decay. It is these infections and decayed teeth that are the actual cause of your halitosis, and teeth brushing, flossing, gums, and rinses will not eliminate these sources. At times, bacteria in your mouth may also form a foul-smelling coating on your tongue that may also be responsible for your halitosis. These issues can be made worse by bad habits such as tobacco use and the consumption of caffeinated beverages.
Depending on the cause of your particular case, your halitosis treatment may differ from another patient’s. Before determining what treatment is needed, your dentist will perform a thorough cleaning. If any teeth are severely decayed, these will be removed, and any less serious cavities that you may have will also be filled. This will eliminate halitosis that is cause by plaque and tartar build up, as well as decayed tooth matter. If your halitosis is being caused by improper hygiene, your dentist will make sure that you understand how to properly care for your teeth and gums so that you can avoid the problem in the future.
How long your halitosis treatment takes will depend on which treatment procedures are necessary. If only a simple cleaning is needed, your treatment may take as little as an hour. More serious treatments may require multiple visits, or more time. Any treatment schedule will be discussed with you before treatments begin so you will have an idea of how much time will be needed and plan accordingly.
Halitosis can be a barrier to good personal and professional relationships. If this dental problem is affecting your life, Roger L. Gillespie, LLC can help. Call our office today at 310-325-4155 today to schedule an appointment, and let our caring and professional staff get you back on your way with fresh breath and a healthy smile.