Manhattan, New York City
One dental health issue and general health issue that people often take for granted is bad breath. Indeed, bad breath can be the sign of a major health problem, which is why we take it very seriously at our Manhattan cosmetic dentistry center. There are a number of ways that bad breath can be addressed and avoided, though it's important that we identify the root cause and treat that first.
The team here at the practice would like to take a moment right now to go over the basics of bad breath prevention and treatment.
About Bad Breath and Its Causes
First things first, let's define bad breath. Also known as halitosis, bad breath is most commonly caused by the bacteria that naturally occurs within the mouth. When this bacteria eats food particles in the mouth, it can produce bad odors. Similarly, there are certain foods that lead to unpleasant oral odors when eaten (e.g., garlic, onions), with the smell only dissipating when the food has passed through the system.
There are other factors that can worsen or contribute to bad breath, including:
- Drinking alcoholic beverages
- Dry mouth
- Tooth decay
- Gum disease
- Respiratory issues
- Nasal cavity issues
- Throat and tonsil problems
- Problems in the digestive tract
- Liver problems
- Kidney problems
If you should notice persistent or chronic bad breath, be sure to meet with your general practitioner or a cosmetic dentist to see if it is a sign of a health issue.
Preventing Bad Breath at Home
The best way to prevent bad breath on your own is to go back to the basics of general dental care: brushing and flossing. Make sure that you brush your teeth at least twice a day and to floss every evening. Ideally, you'll want to brush and floss after every meal to remove food particles between teeth. Staying well hydrated with water is also a good idea since it prevents dry mouth and removes stray food particles between teeth.
Since bacteria can reside on the tongue, we often recommend that patients clean their tongue as well as their teeth. Using a toothbrush to do this is fine, though it does cause some people to gag. If that happens to you, consider the use of a tongue scraper.
Preventing and Treating Bad Breath in the Office
When you visit your dentist for checkups, your dentist will be sure to clean your teeth thoroughly and check for any dental health issues that need to be addressed. If a patient suffers from tooth decay or gum disease (both of which can lead to bad breath) the tooth will be restored with inlays, onlays, or dental crowns, and the gumline treated so that the bacterial infection is under control.
Treatment for Bad Breath Caused by Other Health Matters
Sometimes despite good dental hygiene at home and in the dentist's office, a person's bad breath persists. This is why meeting with a medical professional is a good idea. This could be the sign of a systemic problem that goes beyond the treatment capabilities of a dental health professional.
Schedule a Consultation for Dental Care Treatment
For more information about treating bad breath and your many other options for advanced dental care treatment, be sure to contact our Manhattan cosmetic and restorative dentistry center today. Our entire team looks forward to meeting you in person and helping you achieve the best possible dental health in the process.