Bad breath is a common problem that most people will experience at some point during their lifetime. There can be many different causes of bad breath and in this blog we will look at some of the key causes of bad breath
1. Poor oral hygiene
The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. When food debris get caught between our teeth and is not properly removed through good oral hygiene, bacteria present in our mouths combine with saliva to break the food particles down and this releases an unpleasant smell.
Brushing your teeth and tongue with a fluoride toothpaste for at least 2 minutes twice a day and using interdental aids to clean in between your teeth can remove the risk of bacteria and food build up.
2. Strong foods
Eating strong foods such as garlic, onions, and spices can also affect the way your breath smells. Strong drinks such as coffee and alcohol can also cause bad breath.
Bad breath caused by eating or drinking strong foods or drinks is usually temporary and can be avoided by not eating or drinking these types of food. Chewing gum following a meal which contains strong foods can also help to reduce bad breath
3. Gum disease & dental decay
Bacteria present in your mouth can also cause gum disease and dental decay. One of the warning signs of gum disease is that you always have bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth.
You dental team will be able to pick up on any problems at your dental visits and advise on the best treatment.
4. Medicines and Medical Conditions
In some rare cases bad breath can be caused by certain medical conditions and medications. Dry mouth is a condition where your mouth produces less saliva; this can be caused by medicines, salivary gland problems or continually breathing through your mouth rather than your nose. Other conditions that may cause bad breath include infections in the throat, nose or lungs, sinusitis, bronchitis, diabetes or liver or kidney problems.
It may be possible to discuss alternative medications and treatments for conditions with your doctor or else the dentist may be able to prescribe artificial saliva products or may recommend increased appointments with the hygienist.
Tobacco also causes its own from of bad breath. Smoke particles can linger in a smoker’s lungs for hours and this can lead to the stale scent often associated with smoker’s breath. Smoking also reduces the amount of saliva present ion the mouth allowing bacteria to thrive further exacerbating any bad breath.
The only solution for this is to stop smoking. If you are interested in giving up smoking please talk to your dentist who will be able to advise on the best smoking cessation aids available.
6. Crash dieting
Crash dieting, fasting and low carbohydrate diets can also cause bad breath. As the body begins to break down fat stores for energy, the body produces ketones and these can cause bad breath.
This is not an oral hygiene problem, so although you may be able to mask the problem by chewing sugar free gum or sucking mints the only way to stop it happening is to look to modify your diet and increase your intake of carbohydrates.
Halitophobia is a psychological condition whereby some people are convinced that they have bad breath when they don’t. They become paranoid about the smell of their breath and may fixate on cleaning their teeth, chewing gum and using mouth fresheners.
Treatment may involve talking therapies and cognitive behaviour therapies to help overcome the paranoia and fixation.
Preventing Bad Breath
To keep your breath fresh follow our simple tips:
Brush your teeth twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste and use inter-dental aids to clean between your teeth
Use a mouthwash – some contain antibacterial agents that could kill bacteria that make your breath smell unpleasant
Visit your dentist as often as they recommend
If you have any questions or need any advice on how to avoid bad breath do not hesitate to contact the Dental Studio on 01206 845892