Many patients come to our office with the complaint of bad breath or a bad taste in their mouth. Fresh breath is something we all desire, and is an expected component of our social graces. It’s just as big a part of making a great impression as any other aspect of your smile.
If your oral hygiene is good and you still have trouble with bad breath, you may have gum disease which has allowed more bacteria to build up than you can clean away. Our hygienists can help by thoroughly cleaning around your teeth and gums. Please make sure to inform us if bad breath is a concern so we can evaluate your gums.
In certain cases you may be more prone to the bacteria which cause bad breath even if your oral hygiene is good and your gums are healthy. This means you could have a sub-clinical bacterial infection. This is where a large amount of bacteria is present but the inflammatory response within the gums is negligible. We typically investigate by sampling the bacteria in your mouth and having it analyzed at the lab. If the bacteria levels are high, we will treat you with antibiotic rinses to lower the bacteria and allow the healthy type of bacteria in your mouth to repopulate.
In cases where all of our tests are negative we will recommend that you consult your physician for stomach tests. There are bacteria in the stomach which produce the same compounds as the oral bacteria that causes bad breath, and the cure may lie there.
As we all know certain foods that we eat contribute to bad breath such as onions and garlic to name few. These vanish in time and can be eliminated quickly by using sugar-free mints or gum, by brushing your teeth or by using a mouth rinse.
Bad breath can also be addressed by maintaining great oral hygiene which keeps the teeth and gums as clean and free of bacteria as possible. Remember to brush your tongue because the tongue has very deep pits and grooves where bacteria can escape lighter cleanings.