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.

Gingivitis is the medical term for early gum disease, or periodontal disease. In general, gum disease can be caused by long-term exposure to plaque, the sticky but colorless film on teeth that forms after eating or sleeping.

Gum disease originates in the gums, where infections form from harmful bacteria and other materials left behind from eating. Early warning signs include chronic bad breath, tender or painful swollen gums and minor bleeding after brushing or flossing. In many cases, however, gingivitis can go unnoticed. The infections can eventually cause the gums to separate from the teeth, creating even greater opportunities for infection and decay.

Although gum disease is the major cause of tooth loss in adults, in many cases it is avoidable.

If gingivitis goes untreated, more serious problems such as abscesses, bone loss or periodontitis can occur.

Periodontitis is treated in a number of ways. One method, called root planing, involved cleaning and scraping below the gum line to smooth the roots. If effective, this procedure helps the gums reattach themselves to the tooth structure.  However, not all instances of scaling and root planing successfully reattach the tooth to the gums.  Additional measures may be needed if the periodontal pockets persist after scaling and root planing

Pregnancy has also been known to cause a form of gingivitis. This has been linked to hormonal changes in the woman's body that promote plaque production.


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