Bad Breath Treatment in Washington D.C. & Alexandria, VA
Catching gum disease in its early stages can prevent bad breath and many other side effects.
Halitosis, also known as bad breath, can have many causes. Some are benign and easy to correct; others are more serious. Factors for bad breath may include:
- A poor oral hygiene routine
- Foods that are spicy or have a strong odor
- Tobacco use (smoking or chewing)
- Dry mouth (often caused be medications)
- Poorly fitted dental appliances
- Illness or infection, including mouth-based yeast infection
- Gingivitis or periodontal disease
If bad breath is being caused by reasons other than illness or disease, there are steps which can be taken to prevent halitosis.
A Strict Oral Hygiene Regimen
Brushing and flossing daily and using mouthwash can help prevent bad breath that originates from food particles and plaque in the mouth.
Many foods can cause bad breath – especially those which are strongly flavored, spicy, or which have a strong odor on their own, such as fish or cheese. Avoiding such foods or brushing and flossing immediately after eating can help prevent them from causing bad breath. Mouth sprays, strips, and mints can also help.
Avoidance of Tobacco
Chewing and smoking tobacco products not only causes bad breath, but significantly increases the risk of gum disease.
Some people have dry mouth naturally; others take medications which have dry mouth as a side effect. When saliva isn’t present to continually wash the gums and teeth, decay of bacteria present in the mouth causes bad breath. Using chewing gum can help prevent dry mouth.
Badly fitting braces, bridges, and dentures can allow food particles to become trapped and cause halitosis. Having any dental appliances checked and refitted regularly can help avoid this issue.
Illness and Infection
A yeast infection in the mouth (thrush) can cause bad breath, as can many diseases and illnesses. So can small wounds in the mouth if they become infected, or badly decayed teeth.
Gingivitis and periodontal disease can also cause bad breath when left untreated, and the odor will only be masked by outside agents, not cured. Identifying and treating gum disease is the only way to stop periodontal bad breath.
Keeping your mouth free from bacteria and plaque is the best line of defense against bad breath. If you have persistent bad breath that is not caused by medication, food choices, or dry mouth, ask for a periodontal consultation to check for gum disease.
Periodontists Dr. Justin Zalewsky, Dr. Michael Hoge, and the Precision Periodontics and Implant Dentistry team offer a range of periodontal treatment options to the Virginia, Maryland, and Washington D.C. area, including residents seeking a periodontist in Annandale, Arlington, Burke, Chevy Chase, Falls Church, Fairfax, and Springfield. Please contact us to schedule a consultation with Dr. Zalewsky or Dr. Hoge, or request your appointment online.