Bad breath – all you wanted to know but didn’t like to ask.
Think you have bad breath? Been told you have bad breath? Bad breath is a real confidence breaker. Let’s have a look at some of the causes and ways to overcome them.
The first thing that springs to everyone’s mind is not cleaning your teeth properly. That furry feeling you have on your teeth is plaque, and it smells. Regular brushing and flossing (twice daily) will help overcome general bad breath (halitosis).
Morning breath is a classic example of plaque build-up. Overnight our body reduces saliva production. The saliva has antibacterial and acid neutralising powers which help keep plaque under control. Generally morning breath is not something to panic about, give your teeth a good clean and you will be minty fresh and good to go.
A dry mouth caused by low saliva production may also be associated with increased bad breath. Drink lots of water and chew sugar free gum, to help increase saliva flow. Ask us about this as there are ways to help overcome this problem.
Periodontal disease or gum disease has a classic smell that any dentist will recognise immediately. It is strong and it is not pleasant. You can tell if you may have periodontal disease if you have bleeding gums; tartar or calculus hard deposits building up on your teeth; loose teeth; teeth moving apart, or pain due to mobile teeth. You need to see a dentist. Your breath will smell but you will also have active infection. The good news is that in most cases we can get rid of the bad breath and halt the infection with regular cleaning at hygiene visits.
Smoking causes bad breath. Your doctor and dentist can help you stop smoking.
Not only is the food feeding the plaque making your breath smell, but there are the classic foods that really don’t help: garlic, coffee, dairy products. As foods are broken down firstly in the mouth and then the gut, the odours are expelled through our breath. Mouthwashes and brushing may temporarily mask this.
You may notice your breath is worse when you are hungry. This smell is due to stomach acids.
BAD BREATH FROM OTHER PARTS OF THE BODY
The mouth is intrinsically linked to the body. Smells on the breath may be caused by other areas so it is worth consulting your dentist. If the dentist has eliminated the oral cavity as a source of the smell then they may suggest seeing your doctor. Disease of the sinus, lungs, gut, kidneys, diabetes and even the whole body can be represented by bad breath. It is important not to ignore bad breath, it can be a sign of disease.
So come and ask us or book online. Don’t be shy. This is part of our everyday job and we can make a real difference for you.