Halitosis, Better Known as Bad Breath – Part II
Halitosis, meaning bad breath is derived from the Latin “halitus” (exhaled air) and “òsis” (change), is an embarrassing problem in which an unpleasant odor exudes from the oral cavity. Halitosis may be the cause of social isolation and exclusion. It is estimated that 1 in 4 people (thus 25% of the world’s population) have regularly bad breath creating problems in interpersonal relationships and may have detrimental consequences for one’s self-esteem.
One would associate the cause of bad breath as being oral. Although less frequent, bad breath can also be a sign of health problems: reduced salivary flow, acid reflux, respiratory tract infection, lung abscess, chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, kidney or liver failure. Also, the use of certain medications can be a generating source of this situation: antidepressants, anxiolytics, antihistamines, decongestants and antihypertensives can cause halitosis.
So how do we treat this?
Treatment will depend on the source of the problem. We know that about 90 to 95 percent of halitosis is oral and 5 to 10 percent are due to systemic causes. Being systemic, the patient should be referred to a general practitioner doctor or specialist. If the source is oral, the causes of halitosis are identified: periodontal disease, tartar build-up, plaque, dental cavities, etc.
Schedule an appointment with our Dentist so an individual assessment is performed to identify possible causes of bad breath. If your problem is mainly plaque and tartar build-up, you will be referred to see our one of our hygienists where she will remove all hard and soft deposits causing bad breath by scaling, root straightening, use of bicarbonate jet and polishing the dental surfaces.
Oral hygiene techniques are tailored to each patient’s individual needs and taught so that they may effectively eliminate all food residues that accumulate near the teeth and gums.
Instead of disguising bad breath, let’s find the best way to solve it together!