Oral malodor can be a sensitive issue for many people. The dental professionals are able to find the source of bad breath and offer practical solutions to curb it.
The Sources of Bad Breath
Bad breath (halitosis) can be produced by various internal and external factors. Oral sources of breath odor often include the harboring bacteria in the mouth. The putrefaction of proteins leads to the production of volatile sulfur compounds. The tongue is considered the main source of halitosis.
However, other dental conditions, such as gingivitis and periodontitis, can result in creation of these offensive gases. Poor oral hygiene and largely decayed teeth are also known as the internal factors that contribute to bad breath. The tonsils are another source of malodor as the bacterial film can coat that specific area of the mouth, and it cannot be removed by the patient alone.
The external sources of halitosis include the cirrhosis of the liver. The odor is produced in the organ and travels via the lungs into the mouth. Certain medications may also be the cause of the bad breath and may include antidepressants and narcotics that reduce the salivary flow.
Transient bad breath may come from eating spicy food and drinking certain beverages and smoking. Most of these temporary conditions can be successfully corrected by simple applications, such as tooth brushing, flossing and rinsing with antiseptic solutions. The “morning breath” that is caused by accumulation of bacteria, can be treated with anti-bacterial rinses before the individual rests for the night. This method of dental therapy reduces the amount of bacterial deposits during the sleep and halts the generation of bad breath in the morning.
People who continue to experience chronic breath problems usually have other underlying medical conditions. A range of treatment choices may be presented by the dental clinician to solve the issue. The dentist may ask the patient about their lifestyle habits, oral care at home and their medical history. Upon the clinical exam, the patient may be given specific suggestions along with instructional brochures, published articles or websites to help them understand the issue.
Highly intensive therapy may be implemented when more complex medical problems are of concern. The patient may be referred to an appropriate medical facility for testing and further exploration of the problem. Most frequently, the chronic breath odor comes from both oral and non-oral factors combined.