How to Control and Prevent Halitosis – Part III
Or Better Known as Bad Breath!
Halitosis, meaning bad breath is derived from the Latin “halitus”(exhaled air) and “òsis” (change), is an embarrassing problem in which an unpleasant odor exudes from the oral cavity. Halitosis may be the cause of social isolation and exclusion. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people (thus 25% of the world’s population) have regularly bad breath creating problems in interpersonal relationships and may have detrimental consequences for one’s self-esteem.
There are several oral conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis that cause halitosis and must be treated/controlled just as dental cavities. Some cases of halitosis may be as simple as an inadequate oral hygiene, tarter build-up, plaque and food particles between the teeth and tongue.
In a situation such as increased tartar build-up on the teeth and accompanied with periodontal disease (gingivitis or periodontitis), can provoke a foul order. The use of tobacco and low water intake throughout the day, also contribute to the onset of halitosis.
It is important that you also observe your tongue for the presence of plaque build-up, a condition known as tongue coating (white plaque on the back of the tongue). This is due to the accumulation of bacteria, food particles, lack of saliva and scaling of the oral mucosa cells. Stress and anxiety can also contribute to white tongue formation.
Schedule an appointment with our Dentist so an individual assessment is performed to identify possible causes of bad breath. If your problem is mainly plaque and tartar build-up, you will be referred to see our one of our hygienists where she will remove all hard and soft deposits causing bad breath by scaling, root straightening, use of bicarbonate jet and polishing the dental surfaces.
Oral hygiene techniques are tailored to each patient’s individual needs and taught so that they may effectively eliminate all food residues that accumulate near the teeth and gums.
Keep in mind there there are several ways to help reduce bad breath:
- Brush your teeth at least 2 times a day, being that one of them must be before bedtime;
- Use of dental floss and interdental brushes reduce the accumulation of food particles and plaque in spaces between the teeth;
- The tongue accumulates bacteria, food particles and dead cells especially in smokers or those who suffer with dry mouth. You can use a tooth brush to “sweep” the tongue or a tongue cleaner;
- Drink a lot of water! Avoid alcoholic drinks and tobacco since they provoke dry mouth;
- Avoid foods like onion, garlic and spicy sauces. Reduce the consumption of coffee and alcohol.
Instead of disguising bad breath, let’s find the best way to solve it together!