Does bad breath frequently cause you embarrassment? Your dentist can help you overcome halitosis – the medical term for bad breath – through education, dental treatments or a referral to a physician. The first step to getting to the root of your halitosis problem is to make an appointment to see your dentist.
Teeth and Gum Problems Can Be the Cause
You always need to have regular dental checkups. Yet, if your teeth are pain-free and functional, you might feel tempted to put off your dental appointment. The problem with this attitude is that decay and disease can creep up on you. Before you know it, you can have cavities or gum disease.
Decayed teeth and diseased gums can put off odors that are quite unpleasant. With a simple examination, your dentist can find any teeth or gum issues that need to be corrected. In many cases, this is all that is needed to eliminate halitosis.
Routine Cleanings Help, Too
When you go in for your routine checkup, you can get your teeth cleaned professionally at the same time. Plaque, tartar and germs can make your mouth and breath smell unpleasant. Your dental hygienist can clean it all away and leave your mouth fresh.
Cleaning Your Teeth Is Just As Important As Taking Your Morning Shower
You wouldn’t think of going to work or school day after day without cleaning your body, would you? If you did, people would start to hold their noses after a few days. The same thing can happen when you don’t care for your teeth properly. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. If you are having trouble with bad breath, ask your dentist for a demonstration of brushing and flossing to make sure you are doing it in the most effective way.
When Halitosis Comes from the Food You Eat
Onions, garlic and other foods can cause halitosis for some people. Chewing is only the first step of digestion, but the smell remains until the food has passed completely out of your body. Experiment with eliminating different foods from your diet to see if the problem goes away. And remember, ordinary mouthwash only masks the odor briefly.
Treatments Your Dentist Can Offer
Your doctor can prescribe or suggest antibacterial mouthwash that works much better at eliminating bad breath than standard mouthwashes can. If the problem is more serious, you may need gum treatments or tooth restorations. What you need to be aware of is that unhealthy teeth and gums can cause worse problems than halitosis. If you have these problems, you need to take care of the issues, anyway.
Medical Problems May Be the Cause
It can be confusing deciding which professional to see about bad breath. It could be a problem with your teeth, or it could be a sign of a serious medical problem. The best solution is to see your dentist first. Your dentist can rule out all the oral possibilities first and treat any issues that they find.
If the bad breath persists, your dentist can refer you to a physician. The dentist can confer with your doctor to explain symptoms and treatments that have been tried. Then, your physician can check for problems associated with bad breath, such as diabetes, liver or kidney disease, respiratory tract infections or chronic acid reflux. You might be surprised that a journey you began to overcome embarrassment can save your life.