Bad Breath? Medicine May Be the Culprit
If a thorough brushing and a breath mint are ineffective in your fight against bad breath, you may have a serious condition that, if not looked into, could cause detrimental effects to your teeth, mouth and gums.
This condition is called xerostomia. More commonly known as dry mouth, medications are one of the most common causes of the disorder.
According to the National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research, more than 400 prescription medications, including some developed for asthma relief, depression and cholesterol reduction, can cause xerostomia – a condition that is a major cause of halitosis (bad breath). The condition also can cause cracked lips, cavities, bleeding gums and canker sores, leading to the deterioration of oral and dental health. Severe cases of xerostomia can inhibit the ability to speak or swallow.
Other causes of xerostomia include diseases such as diabetes and undergoing radiation therapy or chemotherapy treatment for cancer. However, the disorder is often ignored until serious oral damage occurs.
Dental researchers have discovered that saliva contains natural antibacterial agents, which help to keep your mouth healthy and neutralize bacteria that can cause bad breath. If you don't have enough saliva, you become more susceptible to dental problems, such as an increase in plaque buildup and bleeding gums.
Treatment of dry mouth depends on what's causing the condition, then taking the appropriate steps to minimize the symptoms. Unfortunately for people with dry mouth caused by medication use, little can be done to correct it.
However, if you suffer from xerostomia, many medical and dental professionals agree that you should use products specifically developed for the treatment of the condition, such as Biotene and Oralbalance products by Laclede Inc. These xerostomia treatment products contain a patented enzyme system developed to treat and restore health to a dry mouth and are available over the counter.
Brushing your teeth twice a day with Biotene Dry Mouth Toothpaste will help inhibit harmful bacteria in your mouth and fight the causes and effects of bad breath and gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums. It helps reduce bacteria and oral irritants because it contains salivary enzymes that boost and replenish saliva's own defenses. Biotene Gentle Mouthwash is alcohol-free, which helps freshen and moisten dry, sensitive tissue in your mouth. Due to its antibacterial enzymes, it kills the bacteria that cause oral infections and gingivitis.
Dry mouth sufferers also are advised to avoid starchy foods, floss daily and have a dental checkup at least twice a year.