In our dentist office, we have a lot of patients that struggle with bad breath. This seemingly simple condition can have a major impact on your life. Severe bad breath can cut social and business interactions short as people find it difficult to engage in conversation. In the worst case scenario, halitosis can be so severe that a person can smell up a closed environment, like a car, just by speaking. Fortunately, most of our patients never reach this level but if you feel that your breath smells foul, don’t wait for the condition to worsen. Instead, call our office to schedule an immediate teeth cleaning and dental exam.
Why should I visit the dentist with bad breath?
This is an understandable question since most people associate how breath smells with their last meal. While there is certainly some truth to this thought process, it doesn’t tell the entire story. As a dentist, we know that bad breath can be a sign of bad health. This is often the body’s way of letting us know that there is an infection that needs to be dealt with. As such, we recommend calling our office immediately so that we can examine your teeth and gums in order to determine if anything requires treatment.
What causes bad breath?
Other than the obvious garlic in your dinner, bad breath can be caused by gum disease. The majority of adults suffer from some form of gum disease at a point in their life. Even a mild condition, called gingivitis, can cause health issues. In our dentist office, we treat the condition by performing a deep cleaning of your teeth and gums in order to remove plaque, tartar, and bacteria. If the gum disease has advanced it will cause the gums to be red, swollen, bleed and start to recede. This is particularly dangerous because receding gums can expose more of the tooth structure and the roots, making the tooth susceptible to bone loss and eventual tooth loss. Identifying bad breath can prevent gum disease from worsening because it allows us to examine, inspect, and clean the area around your gums so that they can heal before the condition becomes worst.
Another cause of bad breath is an infection. If you have a tooth that has become infected or started to decay, it can create a foul smelling odor. This is certainly problematic because an infected tooth can cause significant discomfort and irritation, creating the need for an emergency root canal or other dental care. If this is the root problem, treating the tooth and restoring it to good health will immediately help your breath to smell better.
In our dentist office, we also find that bad breath is caused by plaque and bacteria that remains on the teeth. Even if it hasn’t led to gum disease or an infection, if plaque is trapped in between your teeth, it can start to emit a foul odor. By completing a thorough teeth cleaning we can remove the plaque and bacteria from hard to reach places so that you can be healthier, and your breath will smell fresher, as a result.