Bad Breath / Halitosis
Bad breath is usually caused by bacteria feeding on particles of food trapped in the mouth. Germs that live in the oral cavity also cause halitosis (bad breath). Common bad breath results from germs releasing hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan. Good oral hygiene, complete with brushing with a fluoride toothpaste and flossing, along with rinsing with mouthwash alleviates and prevents bad breath. Don’t forget to brush or scrape your tongue; germs love to hide in the tiny cracks and crevices on your tongue.
Sometimes persistent bad breath can be the sign of something more ominous: periodontitis. Periodontitis is caused by the chronic infection of the oral tissues, including the gums. It starts off as gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums caused by plaque building up on the tissue. Plaque is a thin film of biomaterial loaded with bacteria. At Dave K. Dorroh, DDS in Tomball, we can help you turn the tide on gum disease, but first, it takes a diagnosis. Gum disease is noted by bad breath, bleeding gums, and loose teeth, although any one of those symptoms can be a sign of periodontitis. Gingivitis can be arrested and reversed before tooth loss occurs.
Another condition, called xerostomia (dry mouth syndrome) causes bad breath. A dry mouth lacks the saliva necessary to wash away food particles and bacteria. Without sufficient saliva, dead skin cells from oral tissues build up during the day and give off odor as they decay. At Dave K. Dorroh, DDS in Tomball, we can determine whether or not dry mouth is causing your problems. Dry mouth can be caused by some disorders, like Sjogren’s Syndrome, or everyday medications like antihistamines.
Bad breath can also be caused by tonsil stones. Tonsil stones are accumulations of food particles that build up in small—and sometimes large—spaces in the tonsils. Once there, bacteria and other germs feed on them, causing bad breath.
Most of the time, consistent good oral hygiene takes care of bad breath. Regular checkups at Dave K. Dorroh in Tomball are another great way to make sure halitosis isn’t something more serious on its way.