Getting Rid of Embarrassing Bad Breath

Published:September 5th, 2012

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be very embarrassing and is something just about everyone will suffer from occasionally. Usually it’s caused by eating highly flavoured foods such as onions and garlic, and the problem occurs when the foods are absorbed into the bloodstream before being exhaled on your breath. While it might be annoying, at least it passes in a very short while. In comparison bad breath caused by oral hygiene habits can be much worse.

Common Causes of Halitosis

  • If you fail to brush your teeth twice a day and floss once-a-day then the chances are that tiny little particles of food will be trapped in between your teeth and gums, as well as on the tongue. These tiny particles of food will gradually begin to rot, which won’t smell very good. Everyone’s mouth has a lot of different types of bacteria, and some of these can create sulphurous and unpleasant odours.
  • Halitosis can also be caused by periodontal disease, or gum disease. This is where plaque bacteria buildup in the mouth, and if not regularly removed through brushing and flossing will harden into a substance called tartar. These bacteria contain toxins that will irritate the gums, causing infection and inflammation.
  • Badly fitting dental appliances can create bad breath through trapping food and causing infections. Suffering from tooth decay can also create halitosis.
  • Sometimes bad breath can be caused by medical conditions, including dry mouth. This is a condition where insufficient saliva is produced to keep the mouth clean and comfortable. Saliva has an important role to play in dental health as it is beneficial in helping to neutralise acids within the oral cavity. It also helps to wash away excess food particles and dead skin cells. Sometimes dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, or salivary glands can be damaged due to injury or treatment for disease such as radiation or chemotherapy.
  • Certain medical conditions can cause bad breath, especially sinus infections and infections of the respiratory tract such as bronchitis and pneumonia. Diabetics are also more likely to suffer from bad breath, and from dry mouth.

Preventing Bad Breath
Making sure your oral hygiene is good will help ensure all plaque bacteria and food debris is regularly removed from your teeth and gums. Seeing your dentist at regular intervals for a full checkup and professional teeth cleaning will help make sure that any signs of disease and dental decay are picked up very quickly and treated.

If you do suffer from bad breath then definitely make an appointment to see your dentist first of all. If they can’t see any reason for your halitosis they may recommend you visit your doctor for further advice. If you’re bad breath is being caused by medications than your doctor may be able to prescribe alternative is, but you should never discontinue medications without first seeking professional advice.

If you suffer from dry mouth your dentist may be able to prescribe saliva substitutes, or you can also purchase them from chemists. Making sure you drink lots of water, and sucking sugar free sweets and blue or gum can also help stimulate your salivary glands.


About the author

Alison, is a UK born and educated dental professional with over 25 years experience.

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