If you don’t brush and floss teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, promoting bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This causes bad breath. Antibacterial mouth rinses also can help reduce bacteria. In addition, odour-causing bacteria and food particles can cause bad breath if dentures are not properly cleaned.
Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum (periodontal) disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. Bacteria cause the formation of toxins to form, which irritate the gums. If gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.
Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth, and dental caries (cavities). The medical condition dry mouth (also called xerostomia), and certain medications, can cause bad breath.
What are your treatment options?
See your dentist regularly – at least twice a year. He or she will conduct an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning and will be able to detect and treat gum disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odour.
In most cases, your dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. If your dentist determines that your mouth is healthy and the odour is not of oral origin, you may be referred to your family doctor or to a specialist to determine the odour source and treatment plan. If the odour is due to gum disease, for example, your dentist can treat the disease for you.
If on examination you do have gum disease, the dentist will remove the plaque through a deep-cleaning method called scaling and root planing. Scaling means scraping off the tartar from above and below the gum line. Root planing gets rid of rough spots on the tooth root where the germs gather, and helps remove bacteria that contribute to the disease.
Does it hurt?
There can be some discomfort with different procedures, depending on what is required. Whilst we can’t promise a completely pain free experience, we do our best to talk you through every step along the way and make sure you are comfortable through all treatment. We will ensure that you are completely numb, and stop at any time you need to.
Generally, the treatments above, are fairly uninvasive so discomfort is minimal.
For our patients who are scared or who find it difficult to sit through lengthy treatments, we can offer oral sedation so that they are relaxed on arrival and during treatment.
How much does it cost?
The cost of your treatment will depend on the solution that you and your dentist agree is the best option for you. Once we understand the preferred solution then we can discuss the cost and payment options with you.
If you are a member of BUPA or HBF health funds – we are a preferred provider, so you will maximise your benefit when you make a claim for your treatment. Alternatively, if you have a Centrelink income, you may be entitled to government funding to assist with your treatment, under the Country Dental Health Services scheme.
If you haven’t been to our surgery before we are happy to arrange a 15-minute consultation, with no out of pocket cost, to do a brief examination of your mouth, and discuss treatment options. At your consultation it is likely that the dentist will recommend a full examination and some x-rays for starters to determine fully what your treatment plan should be.