What Does a Bad Breath Treatment Involve?

Posted on: December 2, 2016

bad breathWhile most people associate dentists with cavities, root canals and teeth cleaning, bad breath treatment is one of the common reasons people seek dental care. Halitosis, or bad breath, can be a very embarrassing problem, especially if it is chronic. It is little wonder that large portions of store shelves are devoted to products like mouthwashes, gum, and mints designed to fight bad breath.  Unfortunately, few, if any, of these products address the root of the problem, and only succeed in temporarily masking the odor. Bad breath cannot effectively be treated until the cause is discovered.

Improving your oral hygiene such as brushing thoroughly at least twice a day, using floss regularly, cleaning your tongue, and avoiding foods like garlic and onions may be all it takes to get rid of halitosis. However, in some cases the problem can be more complicated. If your bad breath persists even after you make these changes, you need to visit Dr. Heather Pfefferle, your Traverse City dentist. She can help determine if your bad breath is merely a hygiene issue or if it is a side effect of a more serious underlying problem. For example, some causes of bad breath include:

Oral Infections:

Tooth decay, gum disease, or sores in the mouth can all produce halitosis. In active periodontal disease, there is a large build-up of plaque, tartar, and bacteria residing on the teeth and underneath the gum tissues. These bacteria, which can often be extremely foul-smelling in their own right, lead to swollen and bleeding gums, pus-filled pockets, and chronic bad breath. Identifying and treating such an infection will bring you to more optimal oral health and can alleviate halitosis in the meantime.

Ill Fitting Or Loose Dentures:

Food particles get trapped under dentures that do not fit properly, or are not cleaned regularly. The resultant bacteria can cause particularly offensive odor.

Dry Mouth:

Because saliva not only helps digest food, but also keeps our mouth moist and helps control bacteria, bad breath can be caused by an excessively dry mouth. Saliva helps wash away food particles that would otherwise stick to the surface of the teeth leading to a build-up of sticky bacterial plaque, which can contribute to foul odors.

Bad breath treatment involves a very thorough examination of your mouth and an equally in-depth review of your medical history. Should we find that your bad breath originates in your mouth, we will discuss the best course of treatment to eliminate it. This may involve treating cavities, gum disease, or recommending better oral hygiene regimens. However, should we suspect that there is another underlying and potentially more serious reason for your halitosis, we will recommend that you see your physician to find the cause. These underlying issues include, but are not limited to: infection of the nose or throat, chronic sinus issues, tonsillar stones, or even diabetes. Pneumonia or bronchitis, and metabolic disorders can also contribute to the problem. Chances are, however, the issue can easily be addressed at our Traverse City dental office, so we encourage you to seek treatment advice with us first.