Have you ever been asked by someone if you’d like a mint? Have you ever felt skeptical about why they asked? Not only can it be a cause to make you feel self-conscious, but bad breath can actually a sign of an unhealthy mouth. Typically known as halitosis, bad breath can be the result of poor dental habits or could be a sign of a much more serious dental or medical problem.
As you eat food, chewing breaks food into small particles that can become stuck between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. As bacteria break down that food, the bacteria can release foul odors, which will be exhaled and noticeable to others. Patients with cavities caused by tooth decay are more likely to have food particles and bacterial colonies present – the cavities provide a protected space for bacteria, increasing the likelihood of odor causing bacteria being present.
Patients with periodontal disease are also likely to have bad breath. Periodontal disease is an infection within the gums, typically caused by poor oral hygiene. As plaque and tartar build up against the gums, bacterial colonies build beneath the surface of the gums, creating large colonies that not only produce foul odors, but also damage gum and bone tissue, and could potentially cause severe dental issues such as tooth loss.
Because the root cause of bad breath is often bacteria, an antiseptic mouthwash can often help mitigate bad breath – at least for a while. However, it’s important to remember that mouthwash doesn’t necessarily remove all bacteria; it only kills some bacteria for a short period of time.
For more information about bad breath, call Dr. Schneider in Mooresville, NC at 704-660-1802 or visit www.schneidersmiles.com.
Drs. Catherine and Kenneth Schneider proudly serve patients from Mooresville and all surrounding areas.