It's Only Bad Breath. Or is it?


Definition

Breath odor is the scent of the air you breathe out of your mouth. Unpleasant, distinctive, or offensive breath odor is commonly called bad breath.

Alternative Names: Halitosis

Possible Causes

-In some cases bad breath may be a symptom of an illness
-Abscessed tooth
-Alcoholism
-Cavities
-Dentures
-Drugs
-Gum Disease
-Consumption of certain food or beverages (such as cabbage, garlic, raw onions, or coffee)
-Foreign body in the nose (usually in children)
-Impacted tooth
-Lung infection
-Poor dental hygiene
-Sinusitis
-Throat infection
-Tobacco smoking
-Bowel obstruction (can cause breath to smell like feces)
-Chronic renal failure (can cause breath to smell like ammonia)
-Diabetes (fruity or sweet chemical smell with ketoacidosis)
-Esophageal cancer
-Gastric carcinoma
-Diabetic ketoacidosis
-Lung abscess
-Periodontal disease
-Pharyngitis

Home Care

Use proper dental hygiene (especially flossing), and remember that mouthwashes are not effective in treating the underlying problem.

Fresh parsley or a strong mint are often effective ways to fight temporary bad breath. Avoid smoking. Otherwise, follow prescribed therapy to treat the underlying cause.

When to Contact a Dental Professional

-Breath odor persists and there is not an obvious cause (such as smoking or eating odor-causing foods).
-You have breath odor and signs of a respiratory infection, such as fever, cough, or face pain with discharge from the nose

Some things your dentist or hygienist might ask you:

Do you take vitamin supplements?
Do you smoke?
Does good oral hygiene improve the odor?
What home care measures have you tried? How effective are they?
Is there a recent sore throat, sinus infection, tooth abscess, or other illness?
What other symptoms do you have?
The physical examination will include a thorough examination of the mouth and the nose.

You may be in need of a thorough dental examination and cleaning.
Our team of dental specialists and staff strive to improve the overall health of our patients by focusing on preventing, diagnosing and treating conditions associated with your teeth and gums. Please use our dental library to learn more about dental problems and treatments available. If you have questions or need to schedule an appointment, contact us.

When X-rays pass through your mouth during a dental exam, more X-rays are absorbed by the denser parts (such as teeth and bone) than by soft tissues (such as cheeks and gums) before striking the film. This creates an image on the radiograph. Teeth appear lighter because fewer X-rays penetrate to reach the film. Cavities and gum disease appear darker because of more X-ray penetration. The interpretation of these X-rays allows the dentist to safely and accurately detect hidden abnormalities.

How often dental X-rays (radiographs) should be taken depends on the patient`s individual health needs. It is important to recognize that just as each patient is different from the next, so should the scheduling of X-ray exams be individualized for each patient. Your medical and dental history will be reviewed and your mouth examined before a decision is made to take X-rays of your teeth.

The schedule for needing radiographs at recall visits varies according to your age, risk for disease and signs and symptoms. Recent films may be needed to detect new cavities, or to determine the status of gum disease or for evaluation of growth and development. Children may need X-rays more often than adults. This is because their teeth and jaws are still developing and because their teeth are more likely to be affected by tooth decay than those of adults.


Stoneybrook Dental - Farmington
23020 Power Rd
Farmington, MI 48336
(248) 476-0383