What is halitosis?

Halitosis is the medical name for bad breath. A lot of people suffers from bad breath at some stage of their lives but persistent halitosis can effect once confidence and every day interaction with other people both socially and at work.

What causes halitosis?

The cause of halitosis is the accumulation of sulpher producing anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, throat and sinuses. The bacteria consumes proteins like mucous, blood or food particles and the by-product that forms is a sulphur compound which we experience as halitosis. the accumulation of these anaerobic bacteria are more common in a dry mouth which leads to a corrugated tongue where protein particles can get trapped in nooks and crannies on the tonsils and back of your tongue. dry mouth can be caused by people taking anti depressant medication, anti histamines or birth control pills. post nasal drip and accumulation of bacteria and mucous on your tonsils can also cause halitosis.

How to treat halitosis?

To heal halitosis it important to eliminate the bulk of anaerobic bacteria from mouth and throat with a good oral hygiene program. This includes regular cleaning at the dentist to remove hard calcified plaque as well as brushing twice a day, flossing daily and using a tongue scraper and the correct mouth rinse. It is also important to treat predisposing factors like a dry mouth, post nasal drip and infected tonsils. Speak to your dentist to find out more about halitosis and treatment of the condition.

You have a condition called gingivitis.

What is gingivitis?

Gingivitis is the inflammation of the gingival apparatus (i.e. structures surrounding the tooth above the level of the alveolar bone and also excludes the periodontal ligament).

What causes it?

Improper oral hygiene results in plaque accumulation in the neck region of a tooth. Gingivitis is an inflammatory response to plaque bacteria. Therefore the cause is plaque bacteria.

The following factors can increase your susceptibility for gingivitis: Underlying systemic diseases and the use of certain medications, hormones and stress.

Can it be cured?

Yes, gingivitis can be reversed.  But if no treatment or removal of the causative agents occur, the disease will progress into periodontitis, which is much more extensive and severe and include bone breakdown.

How does it look?

- Red and inflamed,

- Swollen,

- Bleeding,

- loss of stippling at area of swelling,

- flaccidity

- loss of interdental papilla(gaps develop between teeth in the neck regions).

What can be done to treat it?

1. Elimination of known cause
  - Reduce plaque and calculus formation by : - Good oral hygiene
(correct brushing and flossing and use of mouth rinse)
  - Regular cleaning with the oral hygienist and dentist.
  - Use of antibacterial mouth rinse in combination with removal of plaque and calculus
2. Treat underlying systemic disorder according to specific situation.