Bad Breath - Causes and Treatments

Is There a Proven Home Remedy for Mouth Odor?

Bad breath (halitosis) can affect anyone, regardless of age or standard of personal oral hygiene. However, when halitosis strikes, relatively few people think of scheduling an appointment with their local Houston dentist. Instead, most will reach first for over-the-counter home remedies for bad breath, such as a more expensive mouth wash. 

Sadly, mouthwash usually only disguises the symptoms of bad breath. What it doesn't do (at least not in every case) is treat the underlying causes of halitosis.


Causes of Halitosis and Treatment

Poor oral hygiene is indeed the most common cause of halitosis. However, it is not only people who don’t brush and floss regularly who suffer symptoms.

Tooth decay and bacterial problems above and below the gum line can also cause bad breath. Other causes of halitosis may include:

  • Poor diet and possible crash dieting
  • Reduced saliva production caused by smoking
  • Side effects of some prescription medications
  • A foreign body lodged in a hard to reach oral area or between braces

In rare cases, bad breath may also be a symptom of more serious medical problems, such as cancer or diabetes. Thus, even when home remedies for bad breath seem to “work”, we would still encourage you to schedule a checkup with our office or with another qualified Houston dentist. 


Home Remedies for Bad Breath vs Dental Hygiene Appointments 

Antibacterial mouthwash is the safest and most effective home remedy for mouth odor. The alcohol in most mouthwashes kills the bacteria that cause bad breath. However, in the process, mouthwash can also mask symptoms of more serious problems such as tooth decay. For this reason, it is always advisable to consult a Houston dentist whenever bad breath manifests.


How Can a Houston Dentist Treat Halitosis?

When visiting a family or pediatric dentist, most offices will recommend scheduling a dental hygiene appointment.  During your visit, a dental hygienist will thoroughly clean your teeth and use diagnostic tools like dental X-rays to identify any problems below the gum line.

A good family or pediatric dentist will also be able to spot early warning signs of more serious problems like diabetes and ear nose and throat bacterial infections.  


Other Remedies for Bad Breath

The best way to treat halitosis will always depend on the underlying cause of the condition. When dry mouth results in bad breath, your Houston dentist may recommend chewing sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva production. Alternatively, a dentist may prescribe antibiotics if he/she discovers an underlying bacterial infection.

In every case, the most important thing to remember when suffering from bad breath is to always book a professional dental appointment.