How to Treat Halitosis
If you want to know how to treat halitosis, it helps to understand what causes this condition. With that information in mind, you’re prepared to consider avenues of treatment.
Causes of Halitosis
Halitosis can be triggered by a variety of things, including all of the following:
- Oral hygiene troubles: Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of halitosis. A lack of brushing, gum disease, or dentures that aren’t cleaned properly can set the stage for the explosive growth of bacteria. This can lead to foul odors, dental troubles, and bad breath.
- Dry mouth: Saliva is a natural cleanser. When the mouth is unusually dry, a problematic odor may result.
- Food: When food particles linger, their breakdown can lead to unpleasant smells. Some foods like coffee, onions, or garlic can leave their mark on your breath even after you’ve brushed.
- Tobacco: Tobacco products are notoriously harmful to your health. They also have a strong odor that makes your breath stink. To make matters worse, they increase the risk of gum disease.
- Mouth, nose, and throat conditions: Infections in the mouth, nose, sinuses, or throat can negatively impact the breath. Small stones can form on the tonsils at the back of the throat and produce an unpleasant odor. If a foreign body becomes lodged in the nose or throat, it can also trigger an infection and foul-smelling breath.
- Dieting: Diets that call for fasting or low-carb menus can prompt the body to produce ketones. These chemicals have a foul smell, and they may impact your breath.
- Health conditions: Gastroesophageal reflux disease, some metabolic diseases, some cancers, and other conditions like liver failure can cause bad breath because they impact the chemical balance of the body.
- Medications: Medications can impact the smell of your breath for various reasons. Some change the amount of saliva produced. Others impact the chemical balance of the body.
Treatments for Halitosis
Are you tired of battling halitosis? The best treatment for your problem depends on its cause. Johns Hopkins Medicine offers a few suggestions:
- If oral hygiene is to blame, make it a point to brush your teeth properly at least twice a day. Use the right tools for the job, and don’t forget to scrub your tongue.
- If you wear dentures, ensure that they’re properly cleaned each night.
- Visit your dentist to discuss your concerns. They can answer any questions you have about oral hygiene, address any problems with gum disease, or identify other dental issues that might be contributing to your halitosis.
- When dry mouth is a persistent problem, choose healthy foods that make you chew to give your salivary glands a workout. Chewing sugar-free gum and drinking water can also help.
- If you’re embarrassed by bad breath, avoid foods that leave strong odors on your breath.
- If you use tobacco products, stop.
- Talk with your doctor about any health conditions that negatively impact your breath. Ask for tips on how to manage the situation.
Halitosis can have a crushing effect on your self-esteem, especially when it seems like you can’t get it under control. Understanding what may be causing the problem, how to fix it, and who may be able to help you gives you the power to fight back. Bad breath may be embarrassing, but it’s very common. Since the problem is often rooted in oral hygiene, reaching out to your dentist can be a great strategy when you’re ready to find your solution.