At On Pointe Dentistry in Phoenix, we know bad breath can be an embarrassing topic, but it happens to everyone sooner or later. Caused by bacteria devouring tiny particles of food trapped inside our mouths, bad breath (halitosis) is usually beaten by brushing, flossing and a quick rinse with mouthwash. Typically, bad breath results from the digestive processes of bacteria breaking down those food particles and releasing mercaptan and hydrogen sulfide in the process. Generally, good oral hygiene needs to include brushing and scraping your tongue to get as much bacteria out of your mouth as possible.
However, bad breath that just won’t go away can be a symptom of periodontitis. Periodontitis is advanced gum disease and results from a chronic, enduring infection of the gums and other oral tissues. Periodontitis begins as an inflammation of the gums. This inflammation, known as gingivitis, results from a thin layer of food particles laden with bacteria forming on the teeth. This kind of biofilm is called plaque, and it can be brushed away, but once periodontal disease develops, bad breath, loose teeth, and bleeding gums are daily events.
Xerostomia (dry mouth syndrome) also causes bad breath. A chronically dry mouth ends up rampant with bacteria because there is no saliva to wash germs away. Dead skin cells from oral tissues also build up. Dry mouth can be caused by common medications, but it can also result from immunological illnesses like Sjogren’s Syndrome. Sometimes disorders that cause dry mouth syndrome are life-long. At On Pointe Dentistry in Phoenix, we can teach you how to take care of your teeth, gums and oral tissues if you have dry mouth syndrome.
Tonsil stones are also sources of bad breath. Tonsilloliths are accretions of food particles, mucous, and calcified minerals that build up in little crevices in the tonsils. Tonsil stones smell bad due to the germs feeding on them.
Good daily oral hygiene typically takes care of bad breath, but if you’re having recurrences of less than fresh breath, book an appointment with us at On Pointe Dentistry in Phoenix. We’ll give you a thorough exam and find out the cause of your bad breath.