Photo by Walt Stoneburner (2009) is licence under CC by 2.0
Bad breath can seriously affect your confidence, causing embarrassment and stress, as well as affecting social and personal relationships and first impressions. In the overwhelming majority of cases bad breath needn’t be a way of life, and help is on hand:
What causes bad breath?
- Most cases of bad breath are caused by poor oral hygiene. This results in trapped food particles, unpleasant smelling bacteria, and gum disease, a major cause of bad breath.
- Smoking and tobacco products are a major contributory factor to gum disease, and smells unpleasant in itself!
- Dry mouth – The dreaded ‘morning breath’ is caused by lack of activity during sleep and subsequent dry mouth!
- Occasionally bad breath can be caused by an underlying medical condition, your GP will be able to advise you if this is the case.
How to prevent bad breath?
- Brushing thoroughly twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, including flossing in between teeth and cleaning the tongue. Cleaning the tongue is very important to remove bacteria which causes an odour towards the back of the mouth. You can use a toothbrush to clean the tongue or a special tongue cleaner. Mouth rinses can help – however these tend to just mask the problem. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months, or sooner if it becomes damaged or the bristles start to look splayed.
- Brushing your teeth thoroughly and eating a healthy breakfast and can eliminate ‘morning breath’, and then eating regular, healthy meals throughout the day.
- Drink plenty of water to keep yourself hydrated and prevent your mouth from becoming dry. Some recent research has suggested that drinking antioxidant – rich green tea (sugar free of course!) can help sweeten the breath, as well as provide other health benefits.
- Certain foods, for example spicy foods, onion and garlic leave a lingering odour some people find unpleasant, however thankfully the effects of these are temporary!
- If you are out and about without your toothbrush, mints or chewing gum are a handy temporary fix, however always go for the sugar free variety. Alternatively opt for some fresh parsley – natures’s breath fresher!
- Regular hygienist appointments – our hygienist, Claire, can work with you to prevent, and even reverse early gum disease, helping you to keep your breath fresh, and offer specialist advice on keeping your mouth healthy and sweet smelling.
If you find these steps are not helping, then an appointment with one of our dentists will identify any causes or issues which may be affecting your breath. For an appointment or advice please call us on 01443 812559 (Ystrad Mynach) or 01443 451851 (Nelson).