Analyzing Bad Breath

Checking for Bad BreathBad breath (or halitosis) happens to all of us from time to time, and nobody likes it. As well as being a social embarrassment, bad breath can also be a warning sign of more serious dental problems. By analyzing the type of bad breath patients complain of, we can help determine its cause.

What Causes Bad Breath?

External Factors

  • Food – If your breath is especially strong after fragrant meals with as garlic or onions, there’s unfortunately not much to be done except to go easy on these foods.
  • After Mouthwash – Most mouthwashes are alcohol-based, which dries out the mouth and inhibits the flow of saliva. Try this instead: brush and floss again. It stimulates saliva flow while disrupting the bacteria that were causing the odor in the first place.

Internal Causes

  • Teeth or Gums – Your halitosis is sending a signal there’s a serious dental problem that needs correction. You won’t get rid of it until you’ve eliminated the tooth decay or gum disease and restored periodontal health. Call our office for a breath analysis that can identify whether your breath is related to gum disease or tooth decay.
  • “Morning Breath” – While you were sleeping, so was your saliva. Reduced flow caused bacteria to grow in your mouth. It helps to brush and floss away trapped bacteria before bed, then have a glass of water at the nightstand if you wake up dry.
  • From Heartburn – Some bad smells come not from the oral cavity but farther down the throat and into the stomach. Stress, acid stomach, the seeping of stomach acid back up through the valve sealing your esophagus from your stomach (“heartburn”) all may be culprits. A visit to our office (or your medical doctor) will help you know for sure.

About William J. Black, DDS

William Black earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Chemistry from the University of California, Davis in 1988. He then went on to the University of California, Los Angeles School of Dentistry, where he graduated in 1992. Following dental school, Dr. Black served in the Untied States Navy for 3 years as a dentist. He then settled in the Sacramento area where he opened his practice in 1996. Dr. Black is a member of the American Dental Association (ADA), California Dental Association (CDA), Sacramento District Dental Society (SDDS), Academy of General Dentistry, and American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD). He is currently pursuing Mastership with the Academy of General Dentistry and accreditation with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry.

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