Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, affects about 3 in 10 people. Bad breath covers a variety of foul stinks that most often emanate from the mouth, the throat or the tonsils. We have all suffered from it occasionally, maybe we ate too much garlic or went out drinking and smoking one night. Nothing a good clean, rehydration with lots of water and watching your diet wouldn’t cure. It’s when your bad breath doesn’t improve after brushing and flossing that you might have a real problem and will need to go to the dentist.
Not only can bad breath play havoc with your social life, it may also be a symptom of serious problems with your teeth or gums. If you have been battling bad breath and can’t get it to go away with a change of toothbrush, mouthwash and a good toothpaste, then you should go to your dentist and see if they can help. Most dentists, such as at Garden View in Beaconsfield, have treatments for bad breath and ways of finding out if anything more serious is wrong.
What is causing your halitosis?
The most frequent cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. After you have eaten, bacteria start to collect on your teeth, tongue and gums. As they feed, they release a substance that causes an odour, which you breathe out. Your bad breath may also be caused by certain foods, such as garlic and onions. Also, if you are on a diet and are avoiding certain food categories, or are a smoker, this can also cause bad breath.
However, your bad breath may not be caused by food, but by gum disease, especially if you can’t get rid of that bad smell. It could also be a sign of other serious health problems, such as a lung infection, chronic sinusitis or diabetes.
Your dentist can find out if your halitosis is being caused by poor oral hygiene or gum disease. If so, they can clean your gums to remove bacteria and plaque and recommend a special mouthwash to keep bacteria at bay. They can also advise on dietary and lifestyle changes.