Bad breath (or halitosis) can be very disconcerting. It can impact on relationships and cause embarrassment in social situations.
As there are a number of causes of bad breath a detailed history and examination is crucial. Dental disease or inadequate oral hygiene is the most common preventable cause of halitosis, so a dental checkup is recommended in all cases if you have not seen your dentist for more than 6 months. Other causes include tonsil stones (tonsilloliths), decreased saliva production of dry mouth, laryngopharyngeal reflux disease (where acid or food contents from the stomach come back up to reach the voice box), postnasal drip or sinusitis, and rarely, certain lung conditions or cancers in the mouth or throat.
Most of the above causes can be seen with a thorough examination. The mouth, including the dentition and gums will be carefully examined. Dr Levin will then use a nasendoscope (small camera to assess the nose and voice box) to look for signs of sinusitis, postnasal drip, reflux or rarely, tumours.
Occasionally, CT scans or other investigations may be ordered if further information is needed to establish the diagnosis.
Treatment will depend on the causes listed above. Dr Levin will be able to investigate which of the above causes may apply to you and then initiate the appropriate treatment regime.