How a Periodontist Can Help Treat Halitosis
Bad breath, also commonly known as “halitosis” is an odor that is associated with the mouth that 50% of Americans suffer from and increase in intensity as a person gets older. There are many causes of bad breath and the treatment for it depends upon the reason for the bad breath. A periodontist is a specialist in bone and gum disease and can help you treat your bad breath with a variety of treatments.
What are the current treatments available for bad breath?
The available methods of halitosis treatment can be divided into a physical reduction of bacteria, a chemical reduction of bacteria, masking the odor of bad breath, and chemical neutralization of bacterial odor. Determining the cause of bad breath is extremely important to determine if a dentist can treat your bad breath or a medical doctor referral is needed to treat medical issues which are causing your halitosis.
What are the dental treatments available to treat bad breath?
Fix all cavities, broken crowns, broken teeth, crowded teeth, partially impacted teeth, and/or other food trap areas.
Professional cleanings to remove bacteria and a consultation with a periodontist to see if deep cleanings are necessary.
Cleanings done between the teeth with piks, water piks, inter-dental flossers, floss and/or any other tool used to get between the teeth. Specialized anti-bacterial cream specific to the bacteria in your mouth can be used as well.
Customized anti-bacterial mouth rinse specific to the bacteria in your mouth can be used for 2-3 weeks to reduce bad bacteria. This is followed by another probiotic rinse for two weeks to rebuild the good bacteria in the mouth.
What can I do at home to treat bad breath?
Use Triclosan toothpaste, use of essential oils, consumption of probiotics with Lactobacillus salivarius.
Use take home trays to decrease bacteria and volatile sulfa-compounds that are the source of malodor. These customized trays are combined with hydrogen peroxide gel can be used 2-3 times a day and have the added side effect of tooth whitening.
Use Xylitol agents, Biotene rinses, and systemic drugs such as Evoxac/Sialagen to increase salivation if you have dry mouth.
Decrease the consumption of odorous foods such as garlic, onions, and other spices that embed themselves in the tongue and can have long lasting bad breath effects.
Quit smoking, avoid tobacco products and the usage of heavy alcohol.
What medical options treat bad breath?
Medications to reduce bad breath can include broad spectrum antibiotic coverage for pharyngitis and/or drugs such as proton pump inhibitors for GERD. When H. pylori infections are observed, the therapy consists of the intake of omeprazole, amoxicillin and clarithromycin. Surgical intervention can include tonsillectomy/adenotonsillectomy, Sinus surgery, or liver/kidney transplantation. In the endocrinological and metabolic disorders (Diabetes/Amino Acid disorders), the underlying diseases should be treated.
What psychological options treat bad breath?
Patients suffering from perceived bad breath can have significantly elevated scores for obsessive-compulsive symptoms, depression, anxiety, phobic anxiety, and paranoid ideation compared with similar patients without halitosis. To treat delusional halitosis a multidisciplinary approach of health care practitioner, psychologists and psychiatrist are required.