Perhaps more commonly referred to as “bad breath,” halitosis is often a source of serious embarrassment that diminishes our confidence with people, especially those we are closest to, or want to be closest to. Nothing lessens the positive impact of a beautiful smile faster than halitosis.

Temporary halitosis can occur from consuming foods and beverages such as peppers, garlic, coffee and alcohol. These odors will almost always dissipate rapidly after brushing, flossing and using a good mouthwash. Temporary halitosis can also occur from the use of tobacco: smoking cigarettes, smoking cigars. Chewing tobacco and snuff can also cause breath odors that are extremely offensive to others. Again, these odors should diminish rapidly after brushing, flossing and using a good mouthwash.

Halitosis can also be a symptom of another condition. Sometimes the condition is relatively minor such as some particles of food trapped in-between teeth or in pits or fissures of teeth. Other times, halitosis can be the symptom of far more serious conditions that affect both dental and general health. Halitosis can be a symptom of oral infections, dry mouth and gum disease. It can also be a symptom of an upper respiratory infection, or even a symptom of certain severe diseases of the kidney or liver.

If you occasionally have halitosis as a result of what you eat or drink, or the use of tobacco, you can treat yourself as stated above. If halitosis is an ongoing problem that is not alleviated by brushing, flossing and the use of a good mouthwash, please discuss the problem with Doctor McFarland at your earliest convenience. Doctor McFarland will conduct a thorough exam of your gums and teeth to locate the problem or to ensure they are in good health. If your oral exam reveals no probable cause for your halitosis, Doctor McFarland will refer you to your primary care physician for further examination.

Doctor McFarland has been a dentist in Miles City since 1993. As a full service family dental practice, Doctor McFarland performs all dental procedures including cosmetic and restoration; dentures; dental bonding; bridges; crowns; implants; veneers; teeth whitening; sealants; fluoride treatments; root canals and more.