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What is halitosis?

Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. Would you rather date a person with bad breath or an annoying voice? Most people would have to think for a minute about this question, because both are equally unattractive and would greatly hinder good conversation. If you cover your mouth when you speak, use mints or gum excessively, or avoid yawning in a crowded room, you might have halitosis. As an avid tango-dancer, Dr. Gross knows the importance of getting close without worrying about your breath. He will speak with you one-on-one to answer your concerns and provide practical treatment options.

Causes of Bad Breath

  • Incomplete Oral Hygiene – Patients who do not care for their teeth properly are susceptible to bacteria collecting in the mouth. Most odor-causing bacteria are trapped in microbial deposits on the back of the tongue. For this reason, you should brush your tongue or use a tongue scraper when performing your twice-a-day oral hygiene routine.
  • Tooth Decay – Tooth decay is caused by bacteria as well. When tooth decay is untreated, it creates a foul odor.
  • Food – Certain foods, such as garlic, onions, and spices, may taste great on a pizza, but they can also contribute to bad breath because of their pungent odor.
  • Gum (Periodontal) Disease – Bacteria, plaque, tartar, and food debris can irritate gums and cause odorous infection. 
  • Dry Mouth – Certain medications and medical conditions can decrease of saliva production and lead to a condition known as dry mouth or xerostemia. Saliva neutralizes acids and rinses bacteria and food particles from the mouth. Without saliva, this natural cleaning does not occur, and bad breath results. Additionally, the human mouth produces less saliva during sleep, which is why bad breath appears to be at its worst in the mornings.
  • Food Under Prosthetics – Food particles can become trapped beneath partials, bridges, and dentures, and then decay. Immaculate cleaning of prosthetics is imperative to avoiding halitosis.
  • Tobacco Use – Smoking cigarettes or using smokeless tobacco can be a factor for bad breath because of the potent and lingering odor of the chemicals in these products and the mouth’s disposition to absorb these odors.
  • Acidic Saliva- Dry mouth and acidic saliva promote anaerobic bacteria to grow, which are the most virulent bacteria and thrive as parasites in deep periodontal pockets. Ask about PH Buffering techniques.

How do I prevent bad breath?

The best way to prevent bad breath is to practice good oral hygiene. Additionally, you should visit Holistic Dentists regularly for checkups and cleanings, and avoid using tobacco products (which also cause oral cancer). Be sure to drink plenty of water throughout the day to dilute odor-causing bacteria and rinse the mouth of debris. If you have persistent bad breath, address your concerns with our staff, and we will assess the root cause of the problem. We offer treatment options and professional, alcohol-free products for patients with chronic halitosis.

Herbal Remedies for bad breath:

Many essential oils have anti-bacterial abilities. You can purchase our Herbal Mouthwash or concoct your own tinctures and irrigate the gums sub-gingival. For a complete list of herbal remedies, please contact our Holistic Hygiene staff.