Everyone wants to be remembered but being known for your bad breath isn’t likely what you had in mind. A lot of people are self-conscious when it comes to their breath, but that doesn’t mean you have to be. There are a lot of causes for halitosis, but there is also a range of cures that can take care of the problem.
Halitosis, commonly called bad breath, can result from poor oral hygiene habits or may be a sign of an overall health threat. And it’s hard to say which is worse—knowing you have bad breath, or having bad breath and not knowing it. And that is surprisingly possible, as sufferers of bad breath most often cannot smell it themselves!
Unfortunately, bad breath can harm your social life, intimate relationships, and self-esteem. At our Fresh breath clinic , we can help you determine if you have bad breath and if you do, what is causing it and how you can conquer it.
Causes Of Bad Breath
There are many causes of bad breath. Here are some of the most common.
Tobacco products. Smoking causes its own unpleasant mouth odour. Smokers and oral tobacco users are also more likely to have gum disease, another source of bad breath.
Poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss daily and well, food remains in your mouth, leading to bad breath as a transparent, sticky film of bacteria (plaque) forms on your teeth. Your tongue can also catch odour-causing bacteria. Dentures that aren’t cleaned properly or don’t fit snugly can also trap odour-causing bacteria and food particles.
Dry mouth. occurs if you haven’t been drinking enough water or have been sleeping or travelling, or any other case in which your body slows down saliva production. Strenuous workouts can also cause dry mouth, as can breathing through your mouth, some diseases and medications.
Poor diet. The simplest case is garlic or onion breath, or the odour of a smoker. Also, fasting or crash dieting can cause halitosis as the body breaks down fat and releases ketones, which can be smelled.
Digestive Issues. Digestive issues can cause halitosis. Acid reflux allows food odours to make their way back up the oesophagus and out the mouth, creating bad breath.
Prescription Medication. Many prescription medications come with the side effect of dry mouth. If you suffer from dry mouth, check your medication side effects.
Other Causes. Bad breath might be a sign of other diseases. respiratory and tonsil infections, sinus issues, liver and kidney ailments, diabetes, as well as blood disorders, can cause bad breath. In some cases, bad breath can be a sign of cancer or other serious conditions.
Bad Breath Solutions
The main cause of halitosis is in the mouth. We have millions of bacteria that live in the mouth, particularly on the back of the tongue and these bacteria feed on the food debris that accumulates in the mouth and between our teeth. The bacteria give off a sulphur compound and it is this that creates the bad odour. Smoking and drinking alcohol contribute to the unpleasant odour. There are other conditions which affect the airways and stomach that can lead to bad breath too.
Improving your oral hygiene is the most effective way to eliminate bad odour. Brushing teeth and tongue twice a day using fluoride toothpastes, as well as flossing, will remove the bacteria which generally removes the odour. Other things that help are –
- Drinking plenty of water
- Chewing sugar free gum after meals
- Stopping smoking
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Making regular visits to your dentist
The other causes of halitosis (which can be treated by your dentist) are
- infection of the gums (Periodontal disease) , decayed teeth and a condition called ‘Dry mouth’ affecting the flow of saliva
If we find that your mouth is healthy, but you still have bad breath, we may refer you to your GP, as there are other causes ;
- Sinusitis and bronchitis. , Problems within the stomach. , Diabetes. , Liver and kidney problems.
Bad Breath Symptoms
The features of bad breath can include:
- A white coating on the tongue
- Dry mouth and teeth
- Post nasal drip, or mucous
- Morning bad breath and a burning tongue
- Thick saliva and a constant need to clear your throat
- Constant sour, bitter metallic taste.
- Because of bad breath, other people may back away or turn their heads
- This can cause a loss of confidence and self-esteem
Bad Breath Remedies
There is no one cure for bad breath
- The treatment will depend on what is causing the problem
- Good oral hygiene, including brushing and flossing, is important
- Chewing gum, mouthwashes and toothpaste are effective in fighting halitosis
- People with chronic sinusitis may find the regular use of a saline nasal spray helpful
- A course of an antibiotic, effective against anaerobic bacteria ( to reduce the overgrowth of sulphur-producing bacteria), may also help
- Speak to your dentist, doctor or chemist to identify the cause of your halitosis and to find the most effective bad breath treatment for you
What Lane Ends Dental Practice can do for you
In order to treat your bad breath, the root cause of halitosis needs to be identified. Visit us at our cosmetic dentistry clinic in Preston if you experience chronic bad breath (in other words bad breath that never goes away) and talk with our experienced dentists about your concerns. A thorough health history, including a list of medications and supplements you are taking, may be helpful in determining whether the cause of your bad breath is localised to the mouth or might be a systemic condition, in which case a medical practitioner should also be consulted.
If your breath problem stems from an oral cause, we can work with you to develop a treatment plan that minimises odour. Call us on 01772 - 726932 to book your consultation .