Bad breath is one of the most common concerns our patients have. The good news is bad breath is both preventable and treatable.
What Is It?
We all know what bad breath smells like, but most people do not know what it comes from. Though foods can contribute to it (there is nothing quite like the smell of onions or garlic!) there are other causes as well. We need to deal with these problems sooner rather than later. Bad breath comes from the gas produced by bacteria. Bacteria are present in the mouth normally, but without proper dental hygiene, they can grow at an uncontrolled rate. The worse your breath is, the more bacteria that are present.
Why Is This Important?
When bacteria build up in the mouth, the teeth and gums become vulnerable. Bacteria eat away at the soft tissues and they can cause significant inflammation. They also tend to cause a build-up of plaque, a sticky substance that covers your tooth. The only way to remove it is through professional cleanings. If you leave plaque untreated, it can lead to gum disease and periodontal disease - a more severe form that can cause tooth loss and bone loss.
What Can I Do About It?
The most important thing to do is to have good oral hygiene practices. This means ensuring you brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss as well. Removing the bacterial build up is critical. Using a mouth rinse can also help.
When Should I See the Dentist?
In addition to taking these steps, it is also critical to visit the dentist at least one time every six months. We will do a thorough cleaning to remove built up plaque from your teeth. This is the only way effectively to keep bad breath under control.
In addition, if you believe your bad breath is not related to your dental hygiene, let your dentist know. Some medical conditions and medicines can trigger this type of problem. It is also a good idea to talk to your medical doctor about any of these concerns.