General Dentistry: When To Get Bad Breath Treated

General Dentistry: When To Get Bad Breath Treated from South Florida Dentistry in Miami, FLBad breath can be easily addressed by general dentistry practices — but some patients try to hide the problem with strongly flavored toothpaste, mouthwashes, or breath mints. Bad breath can represent a problem with oral health, and it sometimes points to significant gum disease. Learn more below about the causes of bad breath and how a general dentist can help patients who suffer from this condition.

What causes bad breath?

A dentist may refer to bad breath as "halitosis," which means that the patient has one or more conditions that contribute to a foul odor that emanates from the patient's mouth. Bad breath can be caused by any of the following:

  • Foods such as garlic and other pungent spices
  • Poor oral hygiene, including lack of general dentistry visits or not brushing and flossing teeth on a regular basis
  • Poor hygiene with dentures
  • Dry mouth
  • Bacterial infection in the mouth or on the tongue
  • Periodontitis or gingivitis
  • A general health condition such as diabetes, postnasal drip from chronic sinus issues, or a temporary respiratory infection
  • Gastrointestinal, liver, or kidney disease

Bad breath can be caused by a myriad of health issues — and many of these problems are not specific to the teeth. A general dentist is qualified to determine whether a patient's bad breath is caused by an issue within the mouth. If the dentist determines that the problem is caused by poor hygiene, for example, he or she may recommend different products for the patient to use at home or suggest a different self-care routine to combat halitosis.

When should a patient visit a general dentistry practice for bad breath?

General dentistry offices have a number of products and procedures that are aimed at treating a patient's bad breath. If you notice that your breath is typically foul, it is important to visit the dentist. Similarly, if your breath is bad and you have a toothache, pain in the gums, or bleeding anywhere in the mouth, it is crucial to visit a dentist for a checkup as soon as possible.

Keeping up with cleaning appointments will allow the dentist to examine the teeth and gums on a regular basis and make suggestions for any changes that will keep the mouth healthy and the breath smelling fresh. The dentist may examine the patient's amount of saliva in the mouth if he or she suspects the problem is caused by an overly dry mouth, suggest changes in a patient's at-home oral care routine, or offer patients with bad breath prescription mouthwashes if the problem is caused by a bacterial infection in the mouth.

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Everyone struggles with bad breath from time to time, but the cause is typically transient: It may originate with a respiratory infection, a garlic-laden dinner, or simply forgetting to brush teeth in the morning. When bad breath symptoms linger or do not go away even with good dental hygiene, it is time to visit a local general dentistry practice to determine the cause and start treatment. Protect your dental health by paying attention to your breath.

Request an appointment or call South Florida Dentistry at 305-203-4097 for an appointment in our Miami office.

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