Halitosis, or bad breath, is not a disease but merely a symptom indicating other pathologies. The primary illness is not necessarily associated with an unhealthy oral cavity - the cause can be various painful conditions that cause the multiplication of anaerobic microflora. The product of their vital activity is volatile sulfurous compounds, which have a characteristic unpleasant odor.What are the leading causes of halitosis?
Halitosis could be divided into two kinds, general and local. In the first case, it is associated with dysfunction of internal organs, in the second - with the oral cavity state.
The leading causes of local (intraoral) halitosis include:
- absence of proper oral hygiene, the accumulation of bacterial plaque and the formation of hardened dental plaque;
- single and multiple caries - superficial, medium, deep;
- stomatitis, periodontitis, and periodontal disease;
- pulpitis, glossitis, cheilitis, gingivitis;
- alveolitis, peri-implantitis, pericoronitis, etc.
General (extraoral) halitosis is caused by diseases of the respiratory tract, digestive tract, intestinal dysbiosis, liver disease, gall bladder, and kidneys. Also, it occurs in endocrine pathologies - diabetes mellitus, thyrotoxicosis. Many illnesses cause changes in the composition and viscosity of saliva and the volume of its production. Insufficient hydration of the mucous membranes contributes to a decrease in protective functions. If there are no apparent symptoms of dental problems, it is vital to see your medical doctor. A separate category of reasons is the intake of medications that cause saliva composition changes or are accompanied by such side effects as dry mouth. Common drugs with this effect are antibiotics, antiviral drugs, drugs for treating chemical addictions, drugs for normalizing heart rate, and blood pressure. In this regard, dry mouth and halitosis associated with a change in saliva composition are often found in older age groups - older adults who regularly take multiple drugs.What are the symptoms and signs of halitosis?
If you observe bad breath even after brushing your teeth, the nature of halitosis could be determined by the following smell indications:
- purulent odor - periodontal disease and pharyngitis;
- acetone smell - diabetes, or dehydration;
- ammonia smell - liver dysfunction and diffuse toxic goiter;
- sour smell - fungal lesions of the mucous membranes of the oropharynx.
Furthermore, bad breath often accompanied by the unusual appearance of halitosis:
- bleeding gums - with periodontitis, periodontal disease, stomatitis;
- teeth mobility, the formation of periodontal pockets - with periodontal disease;
- white or yellowish plaque on the oral mucosa - with candidiasis, stomatitis;
- darkening of areas of enamel in the gum line - with hard dental deposits;
- increase in the volume of the gingival papillae between the teeth, looseness of the gums - with gingivitis;
- inflammation and pain of the mucous membrane of the tongue - glossitis, etc.
If there are no other symptoms besides halitosis itself, or there are nonspecific manifestations, systemic pathologies, gastrointestinal diseases, or endocrine disorders are possible. Therefore, it is vital to visit not only a dentist but also a primary care doctor.How to treat intraoral halitosis?
Diagnosis of halitosis certainly includes an examination by a dentist. At Cedar Park Dental Wellness, we follow a specific examination protocol during which Dr.Yunusov will survey and analyze the oral cavity to confirm or exclude dental pathologies.
The main principles of treatment are:
How to prevent halitosis?
- professional cleaning: removal of hard dental deposits and soft plaque;
- elimination of diseases of the oral cavity: treatment of decay, inflammatory diseases of the mucous membranes and gums, removal of teeth that cannot be restored, etc.;
- adherence to a diet: refusal of specific products, nutritional correction;
- oral hygiene: a toothbrush selection of the required hardness, suitable toothpaste, mouthwash, and proper dental floss use.
It is essential to regularly visit the dentist, treat oral cavity diseases promptly, and undergo professional teeth cleaning twice a year.
Prevention of halitosis also includes following the recommendations of individual oral hygiene. These include the following:
- select a toothbrush with a suitable degree of bristle stiffness;
- choose toothpaste without an abrasive effect;
- use dental floss and mouthwash;
- quit bad habits - smoking, alcohol abuse, etc.;
- drink enough water - to prevent dry mouth and sufficiently hydrate the mucous membranes.
In chronic diseases of internal organs, it is necessary to pay attention to the prevention of complications, to take therapy according to the doctor's recommendations.
With the problem of bad breath, you can contact Dr.Regina Yunusov at Cedar Park Dental Wellness. With her high qualifications and experience, she will help you quickly identify the causes of the symptoms and prescribe an effective treatment.