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Bad Breath (Halitosis): Causes and How to Get Rid Of It

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When you have bad breath, it can affect every part of your life. You may be doing (or not doing) certain things that are contributing to the problem of foul breath, or what’s clinically known as halitosis.

Being able to recognize the sources and how to handle them can help you cure bad breath permanently.

What is Bad Breath?

Halitosis is a foul malodour originating in the mouth. This condition can be temporary and may only happen every so often.  In most cases though, there is an underlying cause for halitosis.

What Causes Bad Breath?

There can be a number of factors that are causing your bad breath. The problem can be as simple as what you had to eat for lunch, or more complex like an internal medical cause.

Regardless of the family dentist in Ottawa you choose (or you’ve already chosen) here at Parkdale Dental Centre, we can help you determine if your halitosis symptoms are from a dental condition that is treatable.


Bad Breath from Tongue Causes

Up to 90% of bad breath bacteria are found on the tongue. Odour-causing germs can cover the tiny papilla, causing halitosis. Take a look at your tongue in the mirror. If you see a coating, then it’s likely you have bad breath. When brushing, some people tend to ignore their tongue and only concentrate on their teeth. Yet, in order to stay clean and odour free, your tongue should be cleaned every time you brush your teeth. Using a tongue scraper is more helpful that using a toothbrush to sweep away the coating left behind by food particles, dead cells and bacteria.

Some coating or colours of the tongue may mean something more serious than just bad breath germs.  Problems like a yeast infection, overgrowth of cells, an inflammatory disease, a vitamin deficiency, or a bacterial infection can all be diagnosed by looking at your tongue.

If you clean your tongue regularly, but still notice a persistent coating or colouration, you should visit Parkdale Dental Centre in Ottawa for an evaluation.


Bad Breath from Throat Causes

The foul-smelling odour coming from our mouths may be originating in your throat. Some common throat conditions that may be responsible for your halitosis include:

Tonsillitis: Infected tonsils and tonsil stones can cause bad breath.

Respiratory tract infections: Pneumonia, bronchitis, chronic sinus infections, postnasal drip, and chronic acid reflux can all cause halitosis.


Bad Breath from Stomach Causes

Halitosis can also be originating in the GI system and stomach.

Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) causes your stomach acids to come up your esophagus, causing halitosis.

Vomiting that results in dehydration causes bad breath due to dry mouth. Saliva keeps our mouths lubricated and flushes away leftover food particles and germs.  If your mouth is dry from vomiting, you may experience a malodour.


How to Cure Bad Breath Permanently

In order to find your halitosis cure, you’ll first need to determine the cause.  As mentioned before, it can be something as simple as having bacteria on your tongue. In this case, your bad breath treatment will be to change your home hygiene routine.

If you have gum disease, our Ottawa dentists can help to get it under control. A cleaning is completed by a dental professional and removes all of the calcified buildup around the teeth and under the gums.

Your required halitosis treatment may be something more difficult to address because it could have an internal cause. In this case, our Ottawa dental team can help you find a solution for your bad breath.


Home Tips for Bad Breath

  • Drink plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout the day. Keep a glass of water by your bed so that you can moisten your mouth if you wake up parched in the middle of the night.
  • Before going to bed at night, remove your dentures and clean them well.  Also, clean your mouth and soak your denture in a cleaning solution overnight.
  • Brush your teeth twice daily.  Floss daily.
  • Visit your dentist regularly for cleanings and checkups.
  • Chew sugar-free gum or mints.
  • Avoid eating odour-causing foods like raw garlic and onions.
  • Cloves, fennel seeds, and aniseeds have antiseptic qualities that help fight odour-causing bacteria.
  • Fresh herbs like parsley, basil, mint, and cilantro can neutralize odours.
  • Refrain from using tobacco products.


Getting Help with Your Halitosis

If you’ve been experiencing halitosis and need help to determine its cause, call Parkdale Dental Centre. We will help you pinpoint the source of your bad breath and recommend a halitosis treatment solution.

Call today.  We look forward to helping you.

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