Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a very common condition that will affect most of us at some time in our lives. If left untreated, it can cause anxiety and distress. And if the cause of your bad breath is an underlying dental issue, it may leave you with sore gums and could even result in serious dental issues and tooth loss.
To know more, take a look at our guide to bad breath, its causes, how you can avoid it and treatment options.
What causes bad breath?
There are many different reasons why you might develop bad breath.
These include consuming spicy or strong-smelling food and drinks, smoking, medical conditions like acid reflux, tonsillitis, tonsil stones, sinus infection or dry mouth (xerostomia) or even by extreme dieting.
Bad breath can also be a result of issues related to your teeth or gums, like gum disease (known in the early stages as “gingivitis” and in the latter stages as “periodontitis” or “periodontal disease”) or infections.
It can also result from dental cavities and yeast infections in the mouth.
How can I prevent and treat bad breath myself?
There are lots of simple changes you can make to your lifestyle and daily routine to reduce the chances of developing bad breath or alleviating mild cases.
- Brushing your teeth and gums at least two times a day
- Flossing your teeth or using interdental brushes once a day
- Cleaning your tongue once a day with a special tongue scraper
- Using a toothpaste containing fluoride
- If you wear dentures, keeping them clean and taking them out at night
- Using an antibacterial mouthwash
- Using sugar-free chewing gum or mints after consuming strong-smelling food
- Drinking plenty of water to prevent dry mouth
- Avoiding smoking and consuming sugary food and drinks
- Seeing your dentist regularly so they can identify any problems
Can my dentist help with my bad breath?
In some cases, bad breath may be persistent and you should consult your dentist for help.
Make an appointment to see your dentist if your bad breath doesn’t go away after a couple of weeks, if you have toothache or any teeth that are loose, if your gums are swollen, sore or bleeding or if your dentures are causing you issues.
You can keep a food and drink diary for a week or so before you see your dentist, which may help them identify what’s causing your bad breath. Don’t forget to bring a list of any medications you take as well, as some may trigger mouth odour.
At your appointment, your dentist will be able to thoroughly check your mouth and identify whether a problem with your teeth or gums is causing your bad breath.
They can then suggest treatment to help resolve the underlying issue. For example, if you have gum disease, they may suggest that you use a special mouthwash and have your teeth thoroughly cleaned on a regular basis to treat the problem.
For help investigating the cause of your bad breath and treating it, contact our friendly team. They can make an appointment with one of our experienced dentists who will be happy to help you resolve your bad breath to enable you to live life to the fullest.