Halitosis, bad breath. What are the causes?
This is the term used to describe bad breath. It is an embarrassing condition to have. What makes it even worse, is that you are usually the last person to know that you have halitosis. As the nose gets desensitized to the smell.
Causes of Halitosis:
1- dry mouth. First thing in the morning we usually wake up to Halitosis, caused by our mouth being dried out at night.
2- Something in your mouth, like food particles stuck somewhere, out of reach of tooth brushes, like a cavity in a tooth. Or under a crown.
Very often seen at the dental clinic, people have crowns after getting root canal treatment on a tooth. The tooth ends up decaying under the crown. The person is totally oblivious as there is no pain. The cavity under the crown is colonized by germs causing tooth decay and emitting foul odor
3- Gum disease. If plaque is not cleaned off teeth, this can lead to inflammation of the gums, and they can produce foul odor as germs colonize the gums and adjacent tooth surfaces.
4- Not looked after dentures. Partial dentures that have clasps made of wires or casted within the metal frame, need to be cleaned thoroughly. If not cleaned they are simply food traps. Causing foul odour.
5- Ill-fitting dentures:
dentures, whether full or partial should fit and have contact with tissues all over. If there is a gap. this will be a food trap. causing halitosis
6- Smoking. Cigarettes smell, and on top of that they dry out your mouth. A good combination for Halitosis.
7- Alcohol. Consuming alcohol gives out bad odor.
8- Some food. Usually short lived, if the person has healthy gums and teeth.
9- Medication. Indirectly through causing dry mouth
Once these causes of Halitosis are eliminated then we can look into bad breath originating somewhere else:
1- Food. some food are digested and cause bad breath via the lungs. So you will have bad breath until they are totally out of your system.
2- Respiratory tract infections, starting with Tonsilitis down to pneumonea of the lungs
3- Stomach problems, like ulcers.
5- Liver disease
6- Kidney disease
Treatment and prevention:
The key is proper oral hygiene. Brushing twice a day. flossing once, using mouth wash can control germs in the mouth eliminating foul odor.
Regular check ups to rule out any asymptomatic decaying tooth.
Other tip to maintain fresh breath:
– Keep nose and sinuses clear.
– minimize coffee intake
– reduce alcohol consumption.
– stop smoking.
– Drink lots of water during the day.
– don’t miss your routine dental check ups.
Bad breath is usually a sign of something wrong in your mouth. If you are following good oral hygiene protocol, organize an appointment to see the dentist to rule out any problems.
The process of dental cleaning involves something called “scaling”. That term is used to describe the procedure of cleaning teeth with a device called Ultrasonic Scaler. As the name implies, it moves fast, very fast. The Scaler is very effective in removing the tartar (calculus) build up from your teeth.
They can reach places out of reach for your tooth brush, like between the teeth or under the gum line.
The calculus build up is the first step to gum problems, so scaling definitely saves your gums, and lets you enjoy happier cleaner mouth.
Before the advent of these Scalers, removal of calculus was a tedious job done manually using hand instruments.
The technology was introduced in the 1950s and was advocated first to clean the outer layers of the tooth, but since then, it developed and proven effective and safe to use even under the gum line. They used to be operated by a device on their own, but now all modern day dental treatment units come equiped with a Scaler.
Scalers work by vibrating with high energy, thus crushing and removing plaque and calculus. The resulting shockwaves also tend to disrupt bacterial cell function. Water is accompanied, to flush away the dislodged calculus, and to cool the instrument preventing heat damage to teeth and gums.
The advantages they offer over manual scaling:
– More effective.
– Reach more areas like deep pockets and under gum lines.
– Faster than manual scaling, saving both the patient and dentist plenty of time.
However, they are not bereft of disadvantages:
– They cause tooth sensitivity, that is usually short lived and manageable.
– If used over-zealoulsy, they scratch the surface of the tooth, making it more inviting to Plaque formation.
– They might crack porcelain crowns.
– They might damage implant surfaces.
– They should be used with caution in patient with cardiac pacemakers.
Ultrasonic Scalers are very effective and ensure you have a healthy gum, but they need to be wielded by an expert hand.
Eating healthy is important for healthy body. Eating healthy also affects your smile. Your dental health can be affected by what you eat, and can deteriorate with time.
Here are some hints on what to eat for a healthier teeth, gums, and healthier smile.
Essential Vitamins And Minerals
There is a calcium circulation in our bodies. It is stored in bones and teeth. If you don’t get enough calcium, your body might get his requirement from these reserves, weakening your bones, causing gum disease and tooth loss.
The first symptoms of iron deficiency might manifest in the mouth. causing lip cracking, tongue inflammation, and sore mouth. so make sure to eat red meat to get the iron you need.
It is important for your salivary glands to function. Saliva washes the teeth getting rid of plaque, so any deficiency in vitamin A, might mean reducing salivation, leaving your teeth exposed to plaque and germs. You can get Vitamin A via Potatoes, Melons, and Spinach.
Required for the nervous system. lacking Vitamin B3 can cause bad breath and canker sores. You can get it in Fish and Chicken.
Helps build up of Collagen fibers all over the body, hence it is important for healthy gums. It is also important for the immune system. Lower immune system might mean lots of decay. You can get it in citrus fruit and capsicum.
Regulates calcium levels and works on your bones and teeth. Lack of vitamin D means, you are not absorbing calcium. deficiency in vitamin D can cause burning mouth syndrome, causing bad breath and metallic taste. You can get vitamin D from eggs, milk, and fish.
Just like it is important for the general health, watching your diet is important for the oral health as well.
Articles are written by Dr M Hajarat.
Niagara Park Dental
3 / 16 Washington Avenue
Niagara Park, NSW 2250
Phone: (02) 4329 3003
Mon 9:00 - 5:30
Tue 9:00 - 5:30
Wed 9:00 - 5:30
Thu 9:00 - 5:30
Fri 9:00 - 5:30