Bad Breath: Causes of Halitosis and Treatment

If you are looking for a home remedy for mouth odor, you may already know how embarrassing bad breath can be. Having bad breath could imply that you have poor oral hygiene. Needless to say, this isn’t always the case. Here, we’ll look at some common causes of halitosis and what treatment options are available at your local Pearland dentist.

 

Talk To Your Dentist

If you suffer from bad breath, you are not alone. Your family dentist will be the first to assure you that bad breath affects one in four people at some point in their lives.

Because halitosis is often caused by poor oral hygiene, the first thing you should do is make an appointment with your local Pearland dentist. During dental checkups, your family dentist will assess your present level of oral hygiene. If there appears to be a problem, a dentist may recommend scheduling a complete teeth cleaning appointment. This will typically involve a thorough cleaning of teeth and dental X-rays.

Cleaning will remove any food particles which might have lodged in hard to reach areas, before surrounding teeth begin to decay.  Dental X-rays will reveal possible dental problems contributing to halitosis above and below the gum line. Examinations may reveal oral bacterial infections which can cause bad breath.

 

Other Bad Breath Causes and Treatment 

Halitosis can affect everyone. When visiting a family or kids dentist in Pearland, there’s no need to feel embarrassed. More importantly, scheduling an appointment with a dentist can also rule out more serious causes of mouth odor.

Other causes of bad breath may include:

  • Poor diets and crash dieting
  • Consumption of alcohol and tobacco
  • Mouth, nose, and throat bacterial infections
  • Disruption of normal saliva production by certain drugs

In rare cases, bad breath can also be a symptom of more serious medical conditions. These can include certain cancers, liver failure, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). In every case, it is important to have halitosis causes professionally investigated. 

 

Home Remedies for Bad Breath

The easiest, most effective way to prevent/reduce halitosis is to brush and floss teeth regularly. Sufferers can also use over-the-counter products like anti-bacterial mouthwash to kill odor-causing germs. In every case, though, persistent halitosis should be investigated by your family dentist. This is especially true if symptoms are accompanied by difficulty swallowing, oral pain, and/or other oral problems.

Effects of Wine, Tea & Milk

Everyone knows that the healthiest beverage for your overall health is good old H2O.  Community system fluoridated water is especially handy, as it helps prevent tooth decay by strengthening your tooth enamel.  The very act of drinking water helps rinse and flush out food particles and sugars from your mouth, keeping it clean and freshening your breath.

But not everyone lives on water alone - what about other beverages we occasionally enjoy?  Today we’re taking a look at how drinking wine, tea, and milk can impact our dental (and overall) health.

 

WINE

If you indulge in the occasional glass of merlot, you may already have heard of the naturally occurring antioxidants found in wine.  But how do those antioxidants affect our oral health?

Back in 2007, researchers in Italy discovered that both red and white wine contain compounds that are effective against oral streptococci, a bacteria that significantly contributes to tooth decay.  In 2014, a study was published revealing that red wine has anti-microbial properties against 3 different strains of bacteria found in plaque.  And most recently, a 2018 study found that the polyphenols and probiotic strains found in red wine actually help prevent certain types of bacteria from adhering to gum tissue, reducing the formation of plaque.  

So while we don’t recommend throwing out your mouthwash just yet, a celebratory glass or two of wine can actually improve your dental health!

 

TEA

Another beverage chock-full of antioxidants, tea offers a similar range of supportive benefits to oral health.  Green tea and green tea extract, in particular, have been proven to inhibit growth and activity in 4 different bacteria strains that contribute to periodontal disease and formation of cavities.  Additionally, a large study in Japan was published in 2010 that showed a strong correlation between green tea consumption and less tooth loss.  Oolong tea has also been shown to result in a “significant reduction” in cavities and plaque accumulation.

We’d be remiss if we didn’t acknowledge that both red wine and tea are notorious for staining teeth, causing discoloration that may be difficult to remove at home.  Our tip to minimize unsightly staining? Consider sipping your beverage of choice through a straw - it may seem strange, but keeping your smile pearly white is worth it!  And remember to rinse and/or brush as soon as possible.

 

MILK

You probably know already that it does our bodies good.  Specific to dental health, the calcium found in milk promotes the healthy formation and growth of jawbones and teeth in young children.  In older children and adults, milk strengthens our teeth and reduces plaque pH drop caused by sugary foods.  The principal investigator of the study noted that due to milk’s higher pH, it helps fight cavities and supports remineralization of the tooth, as well as slowing the formation of plaque.  The study concludes that drinking a glass of milk several minutes after eating cereal, cookies, or other sugary foods could help prevent cavity formation and growth.

Sedation Dentistry at Kirby Smiles

Here at Kirby Smiles in Pearland, our dentists are extremely passionate about offering safe and effective dental care for the whole family.  We strive to create a comfortable and compassionate environment, especially for our patients who experience intense fear and/or anxiety about their dental health and treatments.  Our extensive past experience with young children and special needs patients have given us a very unique expertise, and we understand that fear of the dentist can develop in many different ways, whether it stems from a traumatic past experience, an anxiety disorder, or any number of possible causes.  Depending on the extent of treatment required and the history and disposition of our patients, we may decide to recommend some form of sedation as part of your treatment plan.

 

Kirby Smiles dentists are highly trained and specially credentialed in all types of dental sedation and anesthesia administration.  There are several sedation “levels” or options that we can provide, depending on the physical and emotional needs of our patients. Through honest discussion with every individual regarding his/her treatment plan and comfort level, we can confidently recommend the safest and most optimal sedation level for each patient.  At times, we may determine that a simple local injection or a mild oral sedative will suffice; other circumstances may require general anesthesia, such as oral surgery. Our website features additional information about each sedation option - we find it essential that our patients feel more in control of the treatment process when they have great knowledge and understanding of the procedures.  In all cases, our goal is always to safely provide even our most anxious and phobic patients' peace of mind and freedom from their fear while effectively caring for their dental health.

 

Safety and comfort are always top priorities as we work with each of our patients.  If the thought of sitting in a dental chair incites anxiety or panic, we invite you to give us a call at our Pearland office to discuss how we can help put your fears to rest during your next dental visit.

How Do Dental Implants Work?

Kirby Smiles dentists take pride in creating dazzling smiles for all of our patients!  In cases of tooth loss, we are especially concerned with helping our patients regain their confidence in their natural smiles and their ability to eat all of their favorite foods.  Studies have proven that tooth loss has many far-reaching consequences, such as mouth and jaw pain, difficulty eating, deterioration of jaw bone and gum tissue, and even the loss of social and career opportunities.  Although our first line of defense is strong advocacy for patient education about general oral health and preventative care, sometimes tooth loss is unavoidable. In these situations, we often recommend dental implants as a viable solution.

 

With dental implants, we are able to create completely natural-looking replacements for missing teeth.  During a minimally invasive surgical procedure, the dentist inserts a titanium structure into the patient’s jawbone.  Over several months, the jawbone and the titanium implant will naturally fuse together in a process known as osseointegration.  Once secure, the dental implant can then be combined with a crown, bridge, or dentures, depending on the patient’s dental treatment plan.

 

A correctly installed dental implant looks, feels, and functions exactly like a natural tooth, and it requires no additional maintenance apart from a normal careful brushing and flossing routine.  Your dentist will continue to keep a watchful eye on the health of your implant at every preventative appointment. With a successful dental implant, you will be free to eat your favorite foods without fear of shifting or clicking, and your confidence in your smile will be renewed.  

 

If you believe that a dental implant may be right for you, give us a call at our Pearland dental office to schedule a visit.  Our highly trained and extensively experienced dentists would love to meet with you, discuss your candidacy for dental implants, and ultimately develop a fully personalized treatment plan that is right for your needs.  

Are Dental Implants Right for Me?

A dental implant often serves as excellent restoration option for individuals who have suffered tooth loss.  Because they look, feel, and function just like natural teeth, we often recommend dental implants to our patients who require a replacement for a missing tooth.  In most cases, dental implants have proven to be a great solution.

Implants have the highest chance of working well with individuals in excellent overall and oral health.  Once the biocompatible titanium structure is implanted, it gradually fuses with the surrounding bone and gum tissue.  This process, known as osseointegration, occurs naturally over several months’ time. Having adequately strong bone structure in the jaw and healthy gum tissue is crucial to the success of this procedure.

Unfortunately, not everyone is an ideal candidate for dental implants, including children and youth whose bone structures are still growing/changing.  There are also a variety of other situations and conditions that may impact the success of the implantation procedure, including but not limited to:

  • Heavy smoking
  • History of periodontal disease
  • Diabetes
  • History of radiation therapy for cancer patients
  • Heart disease
  • Osteoporosis

These factors may not necessarily rule out candidacy, but they may reduce the likelihood of success.  In all cases, a full individual examination and advanced imaging will be conducted by the dentist. Kirby Smiles encourages all of our patients to be open and transparent with us regarding their medical history information to ensure an accurate assessment of their candidacy.  Our family dentists also counsel our patients to continue their commitment to proper oral hygiene and regular, frequent dental checkups as prescribed by their dentist. Strong and healthy jawbones and gum tissue are essential to excellent oral health and to the success of the dental implantation process.

If you are considering getting a dental implant, call our Pearland dental office today to schedule your visit.  Our highly trained and experienced family dentists would love to meet with you to address your questions and concerns regarding your candidacy for dental implants.