Preparing for your appointmentBy Mayo Clinic staff
If you're going to have your bad breath evaluated by your dentist, the following tips will help:
- Dentists generally prefer morning appointments for testing bad breath to reduce the chances that foods you eat during the day will hinder the exam.
- Don't eat, drink, chew gum or smoke for three hours before your appointment.
- Don't wear perfume, scented lotions, or scented lipstick or lip gloss to your appointment, as these products could mask any odors.
- If you've taken antibiotics within the last month, check with your dentist to see if your appointment needs to be rescheduled.
What to expect from your dentist
Your dentist will likely start with an evaluation of your medical history, asking questions such as:
- When did you first begin to experience bad breath?
- Is your bad breath occasional or continuous?
- How often do you brush your teeth or clean your dentures?
- How often do you floss?
- What kinds of foods do you eat?
- What medications and supplements do you take?
- What health conditions do you have?
- Do you breathe through your mouth?
- Do you snore?
- Do you have allergies or sinus problems?
- What do you suspect might be causing your bad breath?
- Have other people noticed and commented on your bad breath?
Bad breath: Causes and tips for controlling it. American Dental Association. http://jada.ada.org. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Rosing CK, et al. Halitosis: An overview of epidemiology, etiology and clinical management. Brazilian Oral Research. 2011;25:466.
- What is halitosis? Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=H&iid=306&aid=1254. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Dry mouth. National Institute of Dental and Craniofacial Research. http://www.nidcr.nih.gov/oralhealth/topics/drymouth/drymouth.htm. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Should I floss? Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=f&iid=302&aid=1244. Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Porter SR. Diet and halitosis. Current Opinion in Clinical Nutrition and Metabolic Care. 2011;14:463.
- Tongue scrapers only slightly reduce bad breath. Academy of General Dentistry. http://www.knowyourteeth.com/infobites/abc/article/?abc=t&iid=306&aid=3192 Accessed Oct. 15, 2012.
- Bollen CML, et al. Halitosis: The multidisciplinary approach. International Journal of Oral Science. 2012;4:55.
- Sheridan PJ (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 30, 2012.
- Carr AB (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Oct. 23, 2012.