Bad breath is a common occurrence and is often easily treated. In some cases, though, determining the cause of your bad breath requires a trip to the dentist. If your bad breath is persistent or particularly unpleasant, it could be a symptom of a more serious problem such as a decayed tooth.
Causes Of Bad Breath
The root cause of most bad breath is bacteria. The bacteria that normally lives in your mouth feeds on food residue, then creates waste products that have a strong, unpleasant odor. Removing the food residue helps keep the bacterial population under control. Regular brushing and flossing is the best first-line defense against bad breath just as it’s the best defense against cavities and gum disease.
If everyday dental care doesn’t keep your bad breath under control, there might be a more serious underlying cause. Some additional causes of bad breath can include:
- Dry mouth
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Sinus problems
Your dentist can help if you aren’t sure why your bad breath won’t go away, so be sure to consult with her if you have concerns.
Treatment For Bad Breath
To keep bad breath from developing, brush and floss regularly. Adding a mouthwash that helps kill additional bacteria in the mouth can help, as can cleaning your tongue regularly. If, however, your bad breath is related to a more serious underlying cause, that cause will have to be treated to eliminate the other symptoms. This could involve having a decayed tooth restored or extracted, receiving treatment for gum disease or dry mouth, or having a doctor treat problems with your sinuses.
Some bad breath can be related to a systemic problem such as diabetes or another medical condition. Addressing this type of issue will require consultation with a doctor to determine an appropriate treatment. If you’re aware of an existing medical condition that could cause bad breath, be sure to mention this to your dentist, Dr. Kelli Slate.