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Glendale, AZ 85306

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Can an Oral Surgeon Treat Halitosis?

Halitosis, SW Oral SurgeonsHalitosis – otherwise known as bad breath – is an embarrassing condition. If you have halitosis, you are probably acutely aware of it, and find yourself keeping your mouth closed around friends and family and afraid to speak to new acquaintances for fear of giving away your secret.

But while there tends to be a lot of judgment around halitosis, with people assuming that you have bad breath because you don’t have good oral hygiene, this isn’t necessarily the case. Halitosis has a number of causes, several of which are likely to be out of your control.

At Southwest Oral Surgery in Glendale, Arizona, the health and comfort of our patients is important. If you are struggling with halitosis, we may be able to help.

What Causes Halitosis?

Before we can treat your halitosis, we need to know what’s causing it. The distinctive odor of bad breath is caused by an overgrowth of bacteria, but why is this occurring?

Some of the most common causes of halitosis include:

  • Poor dental hygiene – Sometimes this truly is the culprit behind bad breath, but the good news is that this is easy to fix. Discuss your hygiene habits with your dentist or hygienist. They will provide guidance to help you improve those habits.
  • Poorly fitting dentures – When dentures don’t fit right (or aren’t cleaned properly), bacteria can build up, leading to bad breath.
  • Dry mouth – Dry mouth itself has a number of root causes, among them certain diseases and their treatments, such as chemotherapy. Saliva replacements can help treat dry mouth.
  • Gum disease – Periodontal disease is a common factor behind halitosis; in fact, bad breath is often one of the first indicators of developing gum disease. Depending on how advanced your periodontal disease is, surgery may be a treatment option.
  • Other oral conditions – Small stones known as tonsilloliths can occasionally form in the tonsils. These are covered in the bacteria that tend to give off a bad odor. If you are prone to chronic sinus infections or postnasal drip, these may also be contributing to your bad breath.
  • Diseases and systemic health conditions – Some diseases, including metabolic disorders and some cancers, are known to produce a complex mix of chemicals that lead to bad breath.

Surgical Treatment for Halitosis

Once we’ve narrowed down the cause of your halitosis, we can begin considering treatment. In most cases, surgery can be avoided, and changing habits will be enough to solve the problem. Adding an antimicrobial rinse can also help control the bacteria that cause the odor.

If surgery is indicated, it’s likely that your halitosis is the result of advanced periodontal disease, problematic dental restorations that may be allowing bacterial growth behind or beneath them, or severe dental decay that warrants extractions.

Periodontal surgery helps by closing the pockets around your teeth where bacterial tend to gather. An extraction removes the offending tooth – and we can also discuss replacement options such as dental implants at that point as well.

If you are troubled by bad breath, schedule an appointment with your dentist right away. If your dentist determines that surgery is the right solution for you, call our Glendale Oral Surgery office at (623) 792-5794 to schedule a consultation with one of our skilled oral surgeons.

AT (623) 792-5794

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