Causes And Treatments For Bad Breath

Bad breath can be a real nuisance, it may even affect your self esteem. It's not uncommon to assume that the cause is poor dental hygiene, but that isn't always the case. Bad breath can have many causes, and some of them require further treatment to ensure your continued good health. The following are a few causes of bad breath that you should be aware of.

Tooth decay

No matter how well you brush, floss and rinse, a decaying tooth can retain bacteria. This bacteria can then lead to odor issues in the form of bad breath. Not all decay or cavities result in pain, either, so you could have a pocket of decay between your teeth where it isn't visible and also not feel it. The only way to spot these pockets and get them treated is with regular dental visits. Allowing the decay to progress untreated can lead to to tooth loss or secondary infections in the blood or bone.

Gum disease

Untreated gum disease can also lead to odors. As gum disease progresses, the gums recede and pull away from the teeth. This results in pockets between the gums and teeth, which can collect bacteria and lead to bad breath odors. Untreated, gum disease can lead to extensive tooth loss and eventual bone loss. The gums can also become infected, which can lead to a whole host of health issues. While gum disease can't be cured, it can be treated to prevent bacterial buildup, odors, and infection.

Dry mouth

There are many causes of dry mouth, from genetics to the side effects of certain medications.  Without sufficient saliva, bacteria and food residue coat the interior of the mouth because they aren't properly washed away. Your dentist may decide to prescribe rinses to help keep your mouth clean and healthy and to further minimize the occurrence of bad breath.

Untreated secondary diseases

There are two common oral diseases that can lead to bad breath. The first and most alarming is mouth cancer. Most dentists have the ability to screen you for oral cancers and they will refer you out if this is found. Another oral complaint that can lead to bad breath is chronic inflammation in the tonsils. This leads to bacterial pockets, and the accompanying odor, in the tonsils. Your doctor will need to evaluate your tonsils for removal. Other non-oral specific conditions that can lead to bad breath is acid reflux disease, which causes odors from stomach acids to occur, or sinus infections that lead to bacteria-based odors on the breath.

Contact a clinic like Dental Associates PC for more help with your bad breath.