August 6th is National Fresh Breath Day. Ironic, somewhat, that this day occurs in August, which is also National Coffee Month – and coffee, as we all know, can leave the breath less than desirable. In fact, many things that we put into our mouths can make the breath smell bad.
Some of the worst culprits, such as onions and garlic, curry and pasta sauces, alcohol, and cruciferous vegetables, are on par with coffee in their impact on how close people want to get to us. But these causes of bad breath are easily treatable through tooth brushing, gum chewing, and similar methods of odor removal. More serious causes of halitosis, however, are not so easy to address.
Oral Health Problems
One of the biggest causes of chronic bad breath is untreated oral health problems. Conditions that can produce bad breath include:
- Tooth decay
- Tooth infection
- Gum disease
- Oral cancer
These issues may produce a bad taste in the mouth in addition to persistent bad breath. They may also come with additional symptoms such as increased tooth sensitivity, changes in the appearance and texture of the gums, and tooth discoloration. If you are experiencing any of these symptoms in addition to chronic bad breath, call Houston dentist Dr. Ronald Konig at 713-425-1302 to schedule an examination and treatment consultation right away.
Most oral health problems respond best to treatment when caught in their earliest stages. Waiting to address the issue can result in tooth loss, significant pain, and systemic health issues including increased risks for heart attack and stroke. The sooner we are able to begin treatment, the lower your risk of these more worrisome consequences.
Orofacial Myofunctional Disorders (OMDs) are disorders that impact the proper functioning of facial muscles and the tongue, and can result in a number of problems, including chronic halitosis.
Mouth breathing is both a symptom and cause of OMD – and this style of breathing is linked to dry mouth, which is a leading cause of persistent bad breath. Men and women struggling with an OMD will often benefit from myofunctional therapy designed to retrain the muscles of the mouth, relax the tongue into its natural position, and allow for lips to remain in the closed position.
If OMD is the cause of your halitosis, myofunctional therapy may be the best solution. This can be discussed in greater detail during your treatment consultation at our Houston office.
Lifestyle and Habits
Lifestyle and habits can increase risks for oral health problems, exacerbate the problems caused by OMD, and even lead to chronic bad breath on their own. Tobacco use is chief among habits that cause tenaciously bad breath. Worse still, brushing your teeth, chewing gum, eating mints, and using other methods of coving up tobacco breath are all ineffective. If you smoke, you will have bad breath no matter what you try to do about it. The only solution for this is to kick the habit – a good idea in any event as tobacco use increases risks for gum disease, oral cancer, untreatable tooth discoloration, and tooth loss.
In addition to smoking, poor daily care or an inadequate oral hygiene routine can increase risks for continuing breath issues. To combat bad breath caused by this issue, all you need to do is recommit to brushing your teeth after every meal, flossing morning and night, and visiting our office every six months for examinations and cleanings. Your biannual visits also allow Dr. Konig to check for signs of OMD or neuromuscular disorders such as TMJ, and to provide swift treatment when these issues present themselves.
If you have consistently struggled with bad breath, please call 713-425-1302 to set up an appointment with Dr. Konig. Our office is located in Houston. We serve all surrounding communities, including The Woodlands, Spring, and Katy.