Philadelphia area patients ask about the causes of bad breath and effective treatments
Bad breath can be a serious concern for individuals who work closely with others. It can also be a sign of an underlying problem. In many cases, people who are experiencing bad breath may be dealing with poor oral health. Dental habits that do not include regular brushing, flossing, and dental visits can have a negative effect on the breath. Dr. David Spilkia of David Spilkia Family and Cosmetic Dentistry in Philadelphia educates his patients on bad breath and the causes and treatments available for improvement.
Poor oral health can lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Tooth decay, also known as cavities, can eat away at the enamel of the teeth and can result in infection of the inner dental pulp. This may require root canal therapy or even extraction of the natural tooth. Gum disease is caused by bacteria and it can cause a loss of bone, gum tissue, and natural teeth. Pockets are formed between the gums and teeth, which can harbor bacteria and cause bad breath.
Most patients who are struggling with bad breath caused by poor oral health can improve it with a visit to their dentist for a thorough cleaning and examination. If periodontal disease or decay is noticed, treatments should be done to bring the smile back to health, which should in turn reduce halitosis.
Bad habits can also result in bad breath. Habits such as smoking and the use of other tobacco products can irritate the gum tissue, stain the teeth, and can cause bad breath. Additionally, certain foods can cause a temporary odor, such as onions and garlic, but this should not be a serious concern and will resolve once the food has passed through the digestive system.
Patients should be concerned about persistent bad breath at other times. In some instances, it may be a sign of a medical condition, including sinusitis, a respiratory tract infection, or even diabetes. Dr. David Spilkia can refer patients to a physician if he believes there may be an underlying medical problem that is the cause.