Bad breath, also called halitosis, is a problem that can affect everyone. Most people have experienced times where they have bad breath at some times during their lives. It has been estimate that approximately 60% of people suffer from repeated bad breath problems.
Generally, bad breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth. The bacteria live on food particles and saliva proteins and produce substances with bad odors. Eating food with strong flavors such as garlic is carried throughout the body and is excreted by the lung producing breath odors. Sometimes, bad breath can be the result of certain illnesses and infection. Certain medication also is a possible cause.
The first thing to consider is the person’s oral hygiene. Improving the person’s oral health often eliminates or greatly improves the problem. Dr. Navid Safaei can advise you as to your oral condition and when necessary refer you to the proper specialist for further evaluation of the bad breath problem. Among the dentists in Tarzana, Sherman Oaks, Woodland Hills and Encino, we believe we put the most emphasis here of all the offices.
Often it is hard to tell if you have bad breath. Others often find it hard to tell you, if you think you might have a problem, we suggest that you ask a friend of family member to give you their honest opinion as a favor There is a simple self test is good to try. Simply lick the inside of your wrist and let it dry. Smell the area. That smell is what others experience.
Bad Breath Causes:
There are several things that are common causes of bad breath according to Navid Safaei DDS. By far the most common is poor oral hygiene .Normal oral bacteria coat the teeth, tongue and gums and are involved in the production of plaque. Plaque is the sticky white material found when you have not brushed. These bacteria release unpleasant substances in the form of a gas. This is especially a problem for those who do not floss because they have missed 1/3 of the tooth surfaces.
Probably the single biggest offender is the back of the tongue. The rough areas at the rear of the tongue are ideal places for large numbers of bacteria to live. Several methods are available to clean this very problematic area. We can help you find the most effective way for you.
Certain common medications can contribute to bad breath. In some cases the medication has an unpleasant odor itself. More often the drying effect of the medication on the mouth is caused when the body’s natural cleaning agent, saliva, is reduced. High blood pressure, anti-depressant, cholesterol, and anti-histamines have been have been noted to cause a dry mouth condition.
Most of us find we have the worst breath in the morning, during the night the flow of saliva is naturally reduced during sleep. When one is not eating there is less need for saliva. The normal washing action of the saliva does not take place and the bacteria reproduce rapidly. The increased bacterial breakdown causes any food present to release gases and a strong odor and taste is produced. Few dentists in Encino are familiar with the gases involved. Dr. Navid Safaei has a program to help with this problem.
Smoking and Alcohol:
Smoking leaves a residue that has a bad odor. In addition it stains the teeth, damages the gums and increases the risk of many diseases. Gum disease is also very common in smokers and is also a common cause of bad breath. Studies have found that the more the smoking the worse problem. Alcohol consumed in large quantities is a know cause of bad breath.
Conditions such as infections of the throat, sinuses and lungs can be a source of bad breath. Uncontrolled diabetes causes a distinct sweet chemical odor to the breath. Gastric reflux and gastritis’s can also contribute to the breath problem. It is best to not mask a bad breath problem before a dental consultation because the odor itself can be a good indicator of the cause of the problem.
The first and foremost step is for the dentist to diagnose the cause of the problem. A comprehensive dental exam by Navid Safaei DDS is necessary to make a proper treatment plan. The treatment for a bad breath naturally depends on the cause.
Frequently, just an improvement in oral hygiene eliminates the problem. While simple on the surface proper changes can be very difficult to do. Many times a dental visit is needed to develop an effective plan of oral hygiene. We can help you to learn what technique is best for you considering your individual circumstances.
In addition, so many other dental conditions such as decay and gums disease can contribute to the bad breath that it may be necessary to eliminate these factors before improvement will be able to take place. When the problem is not from an oral problem a referral to your physician is in order. If needed, Navid Safaei DDS will be happy to provide you with a referral.