Do you worry about having bad breath, or halitosis? You are not alone; a quick look at the well-stocked shelves of gum and mints in your local stores will confirm that fresh breath is in high demand. While no one wants to have bad breath, just trying to cover it up may not be the best solution. There are a number of factors that can contribute to bad breath and treating these should be a part of a more permanent remedy for an embarrassing problem.
– Dry mouth: Saliva naturally helps to clean your mouth of food particles. While you sleep, your saliva production is decreased, and bad breath is a natural result. It can be even worse if you sleep with your mouth open. Certain medications or diseases can also be a cause of dry mouth.
– Tobacco products: Smoking and using chewing tobacco leaves their own distinct odors and may lead to another source of bad breath—gum disease.
– Poor dental hygiene: Food particles that remain in the mouth can cause bad breath. Bacteria found naturally in the mouth can combine with these particles and leave a film of plaque on the teeth. This plaque, if not removed, can lead to the development of gum disease.
– Other conditions in the mouth, nose or throat: If you have inflammation or infection in these areas, it can be a contributor to bad breath.
– Medications: As previously mentioned some medications may lead to a dry mouth, while others may release chemicals within the body that can be detected on your breath.
– Some diseases have a distinctive odor, so bad breath that just doesn’t ever seem to go away is an indicator that you need to see your dentist or physician to rule out the possibility of a systemic health issue.
– In young children, bad breath can even be caused by a foreign body being stuck in the nose.
If you live near Colorado Springs, Colorado, and would like an appointment with our dentist, call Mountain Shadows Family Dentistry at 719-598-3502. We may want you to come in the morning to reduce the chances that the foods you’ve eaten are the source of the odor. Dr. Holsteen may ask that you not eat, drink, smoke or chew gum for three hours prior to an appointment or wear lotions or perfumes with strong scents, as they could mask any odors. Be sure to mention to us when you call if you’ve recently taken antibiotics, as that require that we delay your appointment.