Are you searching for ways to cure bad breath? When your mouth odor is noticeably bad, it can be a seemingly endless source of embarrassment. When it doesn’t go away, that embarrassment can turn into worry about what may be causing your condition. While bad breath is sometimes no big deal (such as after eating onions or garlic), chronic bad breath – also called halitosis – is often a symptom of a potentially serious oral health issue. In order to cure it, you may need to visit Dr. James Fondriest – your Chicago general dentist – for a thorough teeth cleaning and examination to diagnose why your bad breath persists.
Is bad breath keeping you from enjoying the things you love?
In cosmetic dentistry, we rave about the benefits of a gorgeous smile. Studies show, an attractive smile makes a person appear smarter, more successful, friendlier, and a bright smile can even earn a higher salary. While a sensational smile holds amazing power, one small problem can sabotage your beauty: bad breath. Oftentimes we visit the dentist for cosmetic concerns and forget to address or cure our breath problems.
We’ve all been in close quarters with a person who suffers from halitosis. What can you do when someone’s breath stinks? Hold your breath – but that can only last so long. You can try to escape with polite excuses. But what if you’re the person with bad breath? Have you ever noticed, people with bad breath usually don’t know they smell?
What Causes Bad Breath?
There are many causes of bad breath. The types of bad breath that go away easily are usually caused by minor issues. For instance, if you just ate a meal with onions or garlic, then your bad breath will go away once the food passes from your system. If your breath is bad in the morning, it’s because of the excess of oral bacteria that have gathered overnight. Your Chicago general dentist wants you to know this is typical, and it will likely go away once you brush and floss your teeth.
When It Decides to Stay
When simply brushing your teeth doesn’t cure your bad breath, then it may be caused by a more serious issue. For instance, if you have a tooth that’s suffering from tooth decay, then the decaying tooth structure and the bacteria causing it can lead to halitosis. Likewise, if you’ve developed gum disease, then you may have periodontal pockets between your gums and teeth and allow bacteria to gather in force, leading to mouth odor among many other symptoms.
Your dentist can help determine the cause of your halitosis and recommend appropriate treatment. If it is due to moderate or advanced gum disease, your doctor may refer you to a periodontist – or gum specialist – for further evaluation.
Why Bad breath can be hard to cure
Most cases of mouth odor aren’t serious. For instance, morning breath occurs naturally because your saliva dries up when you sleep, allowing oral bacteria to gather uninhibited. Then again, most cases of bad breath go away. Once you eat breakfast and brush your teeth in the morning, a typical case of bad breath dissipates. When it doesn’t, then the cause may be more serious than a temporary buildup of odor causing bacteria. You might need more than just toothpaste and water to get rid of it. This is where your general dentist comes in.
Medical conditions that make it difficult to eliminate bad breath
Halitosis is often caused by sulfur produced by oral bacteria. Tooth decay and gum disease also cause a foul odor. In addition, it can come from the stomach and intestines. Smelly foods, constipation, and intestinal decomposition are common sources of breath odor. Dry mouth, too, fosters halitosis. Dry mouth is a side effect of taking antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, and antihistamines, as well as certain diseases. The dreaded morning breath is a result of dead cells accumulating in the mouth and decomposing. If you have dry mouth due to medications, your dentist may work with your primary care physician to alter the drugs or the dosages.
Suggestions to cure bad breath
Chronic bad breath is a condition known as halitosis. To cure bad breathe requires finding out why it developed in the first place. Some patients may have poor hygiene habits that allow oral bacteria to gather when it shouldn’t, while others may be experiencing symptoms of a developing dental disease. Once your general dentist has diagnosed its cause, he can work closely with you to determine the most appropriate treatment plan for it.
Experts tell us that we can use the sniff test: cup a hand over your mouth, breathe out through our mouth, then in through our nose, and gauge whether you have mouth odor. Unfortunately, this method is not always fool proof. If you want to take measures to ensure fresh, delightful breath, put away the mouthwash and gum. These products have been used since the Elizabethan era and only mask the real problem. Here are a few tips that will ensure you’re never the person people dread; you’re always a breath of fresh air.
- Keep your mouth moist by drinking 6-8 glasses of water per day. Chew gum to increase saliva flow.
- Avoid stinky foods, like garlic and onions.
- Brush your teeth and brush your tongue twice a day.
- Use a tongue scraper and floss when brushing before bed.
- Attend six-month dental checkups and cleanings.
- Address tooth decay and gum problems immediately.
- Keep oral appliances clean.
- Stop using tobacco and drinking alcohol.
- Avoid refined carbohydrates, carbonated drinks, ice creams, syrups, and increase your intake of fiber-rich foods and avocados.
Professional products can help cure bad breath. For instance, prescription alcohol free mouth rinses, special toothpastes, and mouth odor sprays are available in many dentist’s offices.
Learn more about how to cure bad breath
Learn more about the common causes for foul mouth odors. If your bad breath hangs around long after you’ve brushed and flossed your teeth, then you may need a specific diagnosis from your dentist in order to know how to treat it. As a cosmetic and restorative dentist, Dr. Fondriest can give you the smile—and the breath—you’ve always wanted. If you’re a victim of bad breath or you’re afraid that you might become one, call us to schedule a visit with Dr. Fondriest. Dr Fondriest is proud to serve the metropolitan Chicago area as well as the North Shore and Northwest suburbs.