Halitosis: Risk Factors, Symptoms, and Treatment

dentistDentists define halitosis, or bad breath, as an unpleasant odor coming from the mouth. The condition can have significant physical health and social implications. Read on to find out more about halitosis and what you can do about it.

Risk Factors for Bad Breath

Many risk factors can cause bad breath in dental care patients. Some of the most common include smoking, diet, and poor oral hygiene.

  1. Diet: Some foods like garlic, onions, cheese, and fish, can momentarily cause bad breath. However, dentists are concerned about food lodged in the teeth as they encourage bacteria to accumulate. Your dentist may propose cleaning the teeth to remove plaque and tartar.
  2. Tobacco Products: Both chewing and smoking tobacco can increase the risk of developing unpleasant breath. You can stop bad breath by quitting the habit. Dental care may be necessary to restore the health of your gums and teeth.
  3. Dental Hygiene: When you skip brushing and flossing your teeth, you increase the risk of tartar and plaque. The buildup of calculus can also trigger gum diseases. If you are looking for a family dentist in Charlotte, contact Caldwell Bills and Petrilli Dentistry, and our team can help.

Halitosis and Physiological Factors

Some physiological factors may cause unpleasant breath besides food, tobacco, and dental hygiene. Some of them include:

  1. Morning Breath: Having an unpleasant breath as soon as you wake up is quite common. It happens when the saliva production stops at night while you are asleep.
  2. Pregnancy: Nausea, morning sickness, medication, and hormonal changes increase the risk of halitosis during pregnancy.

Symptoms of Bad Breath

Bad breath has many causes, and so the symptoms are going to vary depending on the person. Some cases are temporary and will disappear after some time. But if you notice the following symptoms, you may want to consult a family dentist.

  1. Dry Mouth: Dehydration can increase the risk of bad breath. If you consistently struggle with dry mouth, you should consult a dentist.
  2. Change in Taste: Another symptom is when you notice changes in taste when you eat food.
  3. Tongue Coating: A white coating on your tongue could be a sign of a dry mouth or a physiological condition.

Treatment for Bad Breath

When you have chronic bad breath, the first step is to see a dentist. If the dentist does not find an issue with your oral health, you will be referred to a specialist. The kind of specialized care you will receive will depend on the cause of the condition.

When to See Your Dentist

Halitosis may indicate you have some developing oral health or physiological problem. Watch out for signs such as high fever, sores in the mouth, and a coating on the tongue. If you have any of those symptoms, consider talking to a family dentist first before you can decide the next step.

Halitosis could have underlying factors that will eventually cause oral health complications such as gingivitis or gum disease. That’s why it is advisable to visit Caldwell Bills and Petrilli Dentistry regularly to prevent further complications.