At St Lawrence Dentistry we understand that our patients want to have the best breath possible because this affects quality of life.
There are many factors which cause bad breath and many of them can be dealt with easily. The good thing about this issue is that little changes can make a huge improvement. Since bad breath is not an illness or disease some people are unaware that it is an issue and they do not realize how others may perceive the issue. It can be tough for loves ones to inform each other about the issue and it can create discomfort with coworkers, and friends. This is why is it so important to address this issue.
In general bad breath is cause by remnants of bacteria by products. In particular, it mainly caused by VSCs (Volatile Sulphur Compounds) in the mouth. These compounds are created when bacteria break down amino acids and create sulphur as the by product.
Any area where food debris is left is a candidate for the genesis of bad breath. The prime location is the back of the tongue because this surface has a lot of ridges and where debris can accumulate. Dairy products such as cream tend to really stick to the back of your tongue. Debris can also accumulate in between teeth. This is especially true for patients who have lost the gum in between their teeth (interdental papilla). Wisdom teeth which are partially impacted can be a source because the gum around these teeth can have a depression where a biofilm can easily sit undisturbed.
Any factor which causes the mouth to dry can be a cause of bad breath. This is because the reduced cleaning action of the saliva causes the bacteria to grow. When we are sleeping saliva flow greatly decreases and this is why you can wake up with a bad taste in your mouth. Alcohol, smoking are chief causes and can create a perfect breeding environment for the bad-breath-causing bacteria. Dieting can be also a cause as when you eat and chew less there is less salivary flow.
Systemic issues such as infections in the lung, sinuses and throat can also contribute. In addition, diabetes, kidney and liver issues are known to correlate to issues with breath quality. Sometimes an imbalance of bacteria in your stomach can contribute.
St Lawrence Dentistry will do a careful assessment your particular causes of imperfect breath and create a program to lessen the bacteria creating volatile sulphur compounds.
If we suspect issues with your stomach we will advise you to consult with your doctor to see if dietary changes such as additional probiotic foods could be an initial mode of treatment. If your systemic conditions or medications are drying out your mouth medical consultation may be needed to see if a drug to increase saliva flow (like Pilocarpine) could help.
Dr. Hawryluk will review oral hygiene, assess wisdom teeth position, review alcohol and smoking reduction programs, and cleaning of dental appliances. The dentist often recommends focusing on brushing the back of your tongue a few times a day. This can be followed by an antiseptic mouthwash. In some cases the dentist will recommend taking a tooth brush and small mouthwash bottle with you on your daily activities so you can brush clear the back of your tongue a few times a day. If your saliva flow is reduced the dentist will discuss ways to keep your mouth moist and often uses products such as GC Dry Mouth Paste to help with this. Ways of stimulating saliva flow will be may discussed such as use of xylitol containing mints.
If you have issues with breath quality do not worry. St. Lawrence Dentistry is here to help you make this a thing of the past. Our office is located in Mississauga, which is 15 minutes from downtown Toronto, Canada. Please call us if you live in the area and would like an appointment to see the doctor.