Most of us carry around mints or chewing gum in case we eat something such as tuna, that can leave a lingering odor in our mouth. However, what happens when that lingering smell does not seem to be covered up by mints or chewing gum and it is a constant issue? You might be suffering from halitosis. In this blog, we will discuss what halitosis is and how to treat it.

Halitosis definition:

According to Mouth Healthy, “Halitosis or chronic bad breath, is something that mints, mouthwash or a good brushing can’t solve. Halitosis remains for an extended amount of time and may be a sign of something more serious.”

Halitosis causes:

There are many quick fixes for bad breath.  Unfortunately with halitosis, these quick fixes are just that, a quick fix and do not help the underlying issue. Halitosis could indicate that something more serious is going on. Below we discuss some of these causes.

Dry mouth: Saliva plays an important part in your dental health and breath. Saliva helps to remove unwanted food particles, provides substances that prevent cavities and infections, and breaks down food you have eaten. Having halitosis could be the result of not producing enough saliva, thus causing dry mouth.  Some common causes of dry mouth include excessive caffeine intake, certain medical conditions and medications, and/or chronic tobacco usage. 

Poor dental hygiene: Bad breath can be caused by food particles in your mouth that can linger by not flossing and brushing your teeth on a daily basis.  Poor dental hygiene can cause a sticky film, known as plaque, to form on your teeth and when not brushed away, the plaque can irritate your gums and cause cavities in your teeth. If you wear dentures, make sure to clean them on a regular basis to remove food particles and odor causing bacteria. 

Tonsils and Tongue:  It is possible that your bad breath may not be coming from your teeth or gums at all. Tonsils and our tongues can harbor food particles and bacteria that can lead to halitosis

Halitosis management:

If you notice that your breath has a foul odor, start by following a daily dental routine. This means to brush at least twice a day, use dental floss or a Waterpik to clean between your teeth once a day, and use a daily mouthrinse. Other ways to try to eliminate bad breath and increase saliva flow are to chew sugarless gum, drink plenty of water, and cut back on caffeine. Following some of these suggestions can help to freshen your breath. 

If you notice that your halitosis persists, it is time to call Dr. Abrams. Dr. Abrams will work with you to try and discover what the root cause may be. Dr. Abrams will perform a thorough dental exam and discuss what the next steps should be depending on his findings. You will leave your appointment with a treatment plan to help treat the causes of your halitosis as well as recommendations for any dental products. Depending on Dr. Abrams findings, you might need to follow up with your primary care doctor as well. 

If you think you have persistent bad breath, call Dr. Abrams and set up a consultation. At Downtown Franklin Family Dentistry, we strive to provide each patient with the most comprehensive and individualized care plan. Give us a call at 615-595-6111 to schedule your next appointment!


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