What is Halitosis?

Do you have chronic halitosis? Halitosis, or bad breath, can be an embarrassing problem for some patients. Bad breath can have many causes, from food to medical conditions. Discover more about the causes and treatments for bad breath that we offer in our Arlington Heights, IL, dental office. We can help patients achieve healthier, fresher smiles and address the causes of bad breath at our practice.

Treat Bad Breath in Arlington Heights, IL

What Causes Bad Breath?

There are multiple common causes of bad breath, including:

  • Foods: Garlic, onions, and other smelly foods are short-term problems that cause bad breath. The breakdown of food particles can also produce odors.
  • Oral Hygiene: Not brushing and flossing frequently enough can leave food debris in the mouth. Over time, plaque, a sticky bacterial film, can build in the mouth. Plaque can harden to form tartar and calculus, which are more difficult to remove.
  • Tobacco: Tobacco products like cigarettes and vape pens can contribute to halitosis. These products can cause hyposalivation which reduces the production of saliva.
  • Medical Conditions: Patients with diabetes or sinusitis may be more at risk of developing bad breath. Patients with Type 1 diabetes are more likely to have halitosis due to high levels of ketones. Sinusitis leads to a larger amount of mucus in the mouth, leading to halitosis.

Bad breath can be chronic or transitory. Typically, certain foods can cause transitory bad breath, lasting one to three days. Underlying medical conditions can cause chronic bad breath.

Treating Bad Breath in Arlington Heights, IL

The most common treatment for bad breath is a proper oral hygiene routine. We recommend that patients floss before brushing to remove debris between their teeth and provide a deeper clean. Patients can also forget to brush their tongues, which can harbor bacteria. Sometimes tongue scrapers can also help freshen the breath and remove bacteria from the tongue. We also recommend that patients brush twice daily for two minutes each time. Patients may also floss at least once daily.

Our dental office can also provide dental cleanings to remove food debris, plaque, and tartar. Dental hygienists use stainless steel dental tools to scale the teeth and gums. Scaling can also remove tartar or hardened plaque from the mouth. Removing tartar when brushing and flossing at home is often more difficult.

Hydrating, avoiding tobacco products, and addressing medical conditions like sinusitis can also minimize bad breath. Patients with dry mouth need to drink water frequently to keep hydrated. Bacteria can easily build in the mouth due to dry mouth, as saliva is important to wash away bacteria.

Do you have chronic or transitory bad breath? Address halitosis today. Call Dr. Brent Engelberg for treatment at (847) 230-9703. You can also schedule a dental appointment at AH Smiles on our website. Let us know if you have any questions about the causes or treatments for halitosis. Additionally, if you have any medical conditions or current problems that may be connected to your halitosis, please tell us so we can create treatment that is tailored to your needs.