Afraid to Open Your Mouth? Halitosis is a Problem that CAN be Fixed!
Bad breath (or halitosis), can result from poor dental hygiene habits. Halitosis can also be a sign of other medical problems.
If you’re suffering from bad breath, you’re not alone. The problem is much more widespread than you might think. In fact, research from the Canadian Dental Association reveals: “The prevalence of halitosis has been reported to be as high as 50%.” Certainly many of us have experienced ‘morning breath’ – and swiftly reached for the toothbrush, mouthwash or mints!
Dr. Ray Liu, practicing dentist here at Oakville Dental Offices, says that a lack of thorough cleaning tends to be the catalyst for bad breath. “Most patients I see with halitosis have first developed the problem because of plaque build-up on the teeth,” he explains. “Halitosis can also be made worse by the food we eat, smoking, decay in the mouth, gum disease or cavities. But first and foremost, bad breath usually starts with poor dental hygiene habits – and consequently gum disease is usually the number one cause for a lot of people.”
Prevention is Better than Cure – and Don’t Forget the Tongue!
Establish good hygiene routines – and you should never have to endure the embarrassment of wondering if your breath odour is unpleasant.
Dr. Liu advises that the tongue is an area that is often missed. “Plaque control is very important, beginning with thorough brushing and flossing. But I always remind my kids to brush their tongue at the end of the day too, to clear out bacteria,” he says. “Most of the germs are on the tongue. I would usually use a mouth rinse then brush the tongue at night before bed. The aim is to kill off as much bacteria in the mouth as you can, so it doesn’t have a chance to get a hold before the morning.”
Masking with Mints?
After your meal, it’s not a bad idea to chew gum and remove bacteria that have built up. That minty smell is a great cover-up for garlic too! But beware using gum and breath mints all the time. Although breath mints sometimes do counteract some bacteria-causing odours, generally you will simply be masking the issue and avoiding the importance of getting to the root cause of persistent halitosis.
Other Causes of Halitosis
It’s important to eliminate all other dental causes first, but some of the less common causes of bad breath can be:
- Deep grooves in the tongue which can trap more debris and bacteria
- Some types of medication
- Lung disease, gastrointestinal disease, systemic infections or diabetes
Good News: Halitosis is Often Easy to Fix
If you are suffering from halitosis, the first step you need to take is a visit to the dentist, so you can get to the origin of the problem. The good news is most causes of bad breath are very straightforward to put right. At Oakville Dental Offices, we can help you get your healthy, confident smile back!
Visit one of our friendly, stress-free and relaxing environments (River Oaks or Glen Abbey) where our dentist, Dr. Liu, alongside our team of experienced staff, will look after all your dental health needs.
Call us to make an appointment – we look forward to welcoming you!