Clínia de Periodòncia i Cirurgia d'Implants. Dra. Jorgina Estany

Halitosis

Bad breath or halitosis is a very unpleasant odour that emanates from the mouth , caused, in most cases, to the fermenting in the mouth of proteins and food remains.  

The basic treatment for preventing halitosis consists of an improvement of oral hygiene and the elimination of areas of retention such as caries, gum pockets, etc. 

At our practice we can offer you the most appropriate treatment for avoiding to avoid suffering from this extremely unpleasant bodily disorder.

CAUSES OF THE DISORDER
Oral bacteria cause the fermenting of proteins originating from food remains, dead cells, saliva or blood,  therefore producing volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs).  When VSCs are produced they are ejected with the air that we breathe out, thus causing  the bad odours.

Not everybody suffers from this problem, since oral flora varies from person to person and only certain bacteria produce these sulphur compounds.

The fermentation of proteins occurs mainly in the rear part of the tongue where the bacteria can be concealed amid the surface fur, around the teeth, in the cavities of zones affected by caries, in wisdom teeth, under artificial teeth or in the gum pockets formed as a result of periodontal disease.

Apart from such fermentation, other less frequent causes of bad breath are sore throat infections, tonsil stones, smoking, ingestion of alcoholic drinks or strong-smelling food (cheese, garlic, onions, etc.), or the formation of acids in the case of patients with a tendency to regurgitate due to a hiatal hernia, vomiting, liver or kidney disorders, etc.  

Another factor that leads to halitosis is having a dry mouth, since one of the functions of saliva is to retain VSCs. Thus the bad breath we often notice when we get up in the morning, for example, is due to the fact that saliva production diminishes considerably during the night.

Finally, it should be noted that VSCs have a toxic effect on the gums and cause inflammation of the gums, contributing to the appearance of periodontal pockets and disease.   

TREATMENT AND PREVENTION

The best and simplest treatment for the prevention of halitosis is to improve oral hygiene and increase the production of saliva. 

With regard to oral hygiene, the tongue should be brushed thoroughly and teeth and/or dentures should be carefully cleaned.

  • The rear part of the tongue should be brushed thoroughly with a tongue-scraper or toothbrush, moving forward from the back and covering the top and sides of the tongue several times. This is more easily done at night, when it is less likely to cause feelings of nausea.
  • The surfaces of the teeth must be brushed with great care together with the use of dental floss or interdental toothbrushes and/or pressurized water appliances. 
  • Removable dentures must be taken out for thorough cleaning after each meal. Permanently fixed dentures should be cleaned like natural teeth. 

In order to increase the production of saliva it is recommended that you chew gum, rinse out your mouth, drink water or eat small amounts of food on a regular basis.

An appointment with your dentist will make it possible to carry out a thorough examination in each case so as to establish the causes of the halitosis and then seek the most appropriate form of treatment.   It may, for example, be necessary to treat certain areas of caries, take out wisdom teeth if they retain pieces of food, adjust dentures that are difficult to clean, or undergo periodontal treatment so as to eliminate gum inflammation and gingival pockets.

 

  • Raspall interdental
  • Fil de seda
  • Raspador lingual
  • OralChroma
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