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We often have patients confide in us that they are concerned about the smell of their breath. Did you know that the technical term for bad breath is halitosis? This can by caused by a number of things. To help determine what the cause of halitosis might be, talk with your hygienist and dentist at your next visit. In the mean time, here are some things to consider:
Do you have active tooth decay or periodontal disease? The bacteria involved in cavities and gum disease can often cause a foul mouth odor for a prolonged period of time. The best solution is to this is repair active decay and treat gum disease as directed by your dentist and hygienist.
Are you having sinus drainage from a cold or allergies? Post nasal drip and mucous can cause bad breath during periods of time that you experience sinus symptoms. An over the counter sinus medication or visit to your general physician can help keep drainage at bay.
Do you suffer from indigestion or GERD? Reflux and stomach acids can cause bad breath starting from all the way inside of your stomach. With these conditions, acid is allowed to enter into the esophagus and the gasses escape through the mouth. Your general physician can prescribe something to help block stomach acids from being produced in excess.
Are you doing an adequate job of brushing, flossing and tongue brushing? If you are missing areas during your oral hygiene routine and leaving plaque behind, this may be a cause of halitosis. The most likely cause? A plaque coated tongue-especially the farthest back portion! So, stick out your tongue and take a look. A plaque coated tongue often appears to have a white or yellow coating. A tongue scraper will get this cleaned up in no time!
So, before you grab for that piece of sugar free mint gum, ask yourself what the cause of your bad breath might be. If you think it might be more than just the garlic you ate for dinner, give your dentist or general doctor a call. We would be happy to help you find your way back to fresh!