Does bad breath (halitosis) get in your way of living life to the fullest? Do you find yourself constantly wondering what others think of you when you open your mouth or speak near them? Do you wonder if a cavity could be the cause? As a dentist in Batavia, we know just how detrimental this condition can be.
But you’re not alone. Studies reveal that 50% of adults develop bad breath, also known as halitosis, in their lifetime.
At Batavia Family Dental, halitosis is a serious concern for many of our patients. In this blog, we’ll delve into the causes of this condition and how to prevent it.
The primary causes of bad breath are…
- plaque and food particles
- untreated gum disease
- bacteria trapped in the tongue
- infections of the throat, mouth, and nose
- tobacco use
- dry mouth
- chronic diseases such as diabetes.
The good news is that you don’t have to be stuck with bad breath.
Here are a few things you can do to prevent it before it starts or keep it at bay …
- Brush and floss Keep up your oral hygiene routine at home to eliminate the bacteria that can cause your breath to smell funky. Don’t forget to brush your tongue!
- Watch your diet. Reduce your intake of sugar and foods such as garlic, onions, dairy, canned tuna, and horseradish.
- Prevent dry mouth. Drink water and avoid tobacco products, coffee, alcohol, and pop. You can also chew on sugarless gum to generate more saliva.
- Look after your dentures or other dental appliance. If you wear something in your mouth, it’s a must you clean it as frequently as your dentist has directed.
- Buy a new brush. It’s important to switch out your old brush for a new one every three to four months.
Last but not least … don’t miss your dental visits! If a cavity is the cause, we can easily solve your bad breath woes in one easy appointment, just by removing the decay and filling the tooth.
Amalgam fillings (“silver fillings”), which are a combination of copper, silver, tin, and elemental (safe) mercury, have been in use since approximately 1895. While these fillings have a long history of being safe, durable, and cost-effective, they do have some drawbacks. For one, they rely on the size and shape of the cavity for retention, which means that more of the healthy tooth than necessary may need to be removed in order to ensure that the filling will be held firmly in place. Silver fillings also tend to shrink and, eventually, can darken the surrounding tooth structure. They can also stain the soft tissues around the filling. We call this an amalgam tattoo.
Tooth-colored resin composite fillings, however, adhere readily to the surface of the tooth, require less drilling, and are nearly invisible. Composite fillings match your natural tooth-color and are used on teeth in your smile zone (those that are visible when you smile) and for molars. First, we prepare the teeth as we would for amalgam fillings but remove far less healthy tooth material. Then we hand-sculpt the composite material into your tooth to fill the space. Last, we cure the material and check your bite. You can get back to eating what you like – and enjoying your life with a beautiful, white, healthy smile.
Your oral health experts at Batavia Family Dental can help keep your smile fresh with annual or biannual cleanings. We will inquire about your medical history and work with you to come up with a plan to keep your bad breath under control. Contact us today!
Yours in dental health,
Dr. Steve Sokolovskiy, dentist in Batavia
P.S. Replacing silver fillings with resin composite fillings can be part of an overall cosmetic strategy to create a more attractive smile.