Bad breath (or halitosis) and how to avoid it

Bad breath – or halitosis – affects many people. It can be embarrassing and lessen a person’s quality of life.

Bad breath is often caused by food debris sitting between the teeth and gums. Here we provide some reasons as to why bad breath can occur, and some ways that it can be managed. 

There are many ways that a person can develop halitosis, including: 

  1. Infections of the throat, mouth or tonsils, such as oral candidiasis and herpetic gingivostomatitis
  2. Eating spicy or strong flavoured food
  3. Drinking alcohol 
  4. Smoking
  5. Dental and gum diseases 
  6. Having a dry mouth
  7. Ill filling dentures 

Bad breath/ halitosis can be managed by taking the following actions:

  1. Brushing your teeth twice daily, for two minutes on each occasion as often persistent halitosis is caused by a build up of food debris and dental bacterial plaque on the teeth and tongue
  2. Flossing regularly
  3. Reduce the amount of sugary and spicy food and drinks consumed  
  4. Stop smoking and reduce alcohol consumption 
  5. Use peppermint mouth sprays and sugar-free chewing gum throughout the day. 

If you are concerned about your bad breath, see your dentist to rule out any serious problems as the condition can sometimes be caused by non oral issues. Your dentist will also be able to give you advice that may help you to resolve your bad breath.