Los Angeles Cosmetic Dentist | Bad Breath Affects One In Four People Says Viviane Haber, DDS
Over 90 million Americans – about a quarter of the population of the US – suffer from halitosis, the clinical term for bad breath. Read on for more information from Viviane Haber, DDS to find out what causes this unpleasant condition and how to fight it.
Bad breath is most commonly triggered by chronic poor oral hygiene, which leads to a buildup of microbes in the mouth. Failure to regularly remove food particles from the mouth promotes bacterial growth in and around the teeth, tongue, and gums. This bacterial decay is what actually causes bad breath, says Viviane Haber, DDS.
The use of tobacco and tobacco-based products, faulty dental work, ill-fitting dentures, oral yeast infections and cavities are also causes of halitosis.
Bad breath and other health concerns
According to Viviane Haber, DDS, foul-smelling breath or a bad taste in the mouth may indicate a host of other health concerns. One of the first signs of gum disease is halitosis that does not go away with regular brushing. Bacteria around the gum line forms toxic waste that, if left untreated, can irreversibly damage soft gum tissue and bone structure. Medical conditions such as pneumonia, sinusitis, diabetes, and kidney disease may cause bad breath.
Treatment and prevention
The best way to prevent bad breath is to practice proper oral hygiene including brushing and flossing regularly and avoid tobacco, alcohol, and certain foods (garlic, onions, etc.) that cause odor. Staying properly hydrated and sucking on sugarless hard candy or chewing sugarless gum will keep the mouth moist and help wash away bacteria-causing food residue. Antiseptic mouthwash is also useful to temporarily stave off odor.
Viviane Haber, DDS suggests seeing a dentist twice a year for an exam and cleaning as a first-line of defense against halitosis.