Post 14 – How to deal with bad breath
Bad breath (halitosis) can cause embarrassment and harm self-confidence. But most cases of bad breath can be mitigated by improving oral health and oral hygiene. If you suffer from bad breath, make your dentist your first port of call. As a dental professional, your dentist will have dealt with many cases of bad breath. As a result, they will deal sensitively with the problem, talk to you about your treatment options and, if necessary, will investigate to find the best solution to your bad breath.
Bad breath: causes
Bad breath can be caused by several factors. Often, bad breath is the result of lifestyle or diet. However, it can also be caused by something more serious, such as gum disease or infections in other parts of the body. Here are some of the most common causes of bad breath:
Foods with strong flavours such as garlic and onions
Frequent consumption of alcohol and/or cigarettes
Poor dental hygiene
Excessive bacteria on the tongue
Gingivitis and periodontal disease (most common types of gum disease)
Health conditions in other parts of the body such as the throat, liver, kidneys or lungs
Bad breath: treatments
If you know that you have bad breath, it is likely that you will already have tried several self-administered treatments, such as mouthwash. However, not all treatments are helpful in the longer term, and so it is advisable to speak to your dentist for advice.
To identify the best treatment, your dentist will carry out a routine examination, looking at your teeth, gums and tongue. This examination will allow your dentist to identify the cause of your bad breath, and then offer advice and recommend treatment. Sometimes, bad breath can be mitigated by seeing a hygienist who will be able to clean your teeth thoroughly. Alternatively, if your bad breath is the result of a bacterial overgrowth or infection, your dentist may prescribe a course of antibiotics.
By working with your dentist, you will be more likely to achieve the fresh breath and renewed confidence that you are hoping for.
Bad breath: prevention
As with most things, it is often better to prevent bad breath than treat it. By looking after your oral health and maintaining good oral hygiene, you may be able to stop bad breath before it happens. As the most common cause of bad breath is bacteria in the mouth, ask your dentist or dental hygienist for advice on how to most effectively brush your teeth, as well as how to floss and keep the tongue clean. It is important to brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes each time, and to combine that with flossing and tongue brushing.
With advice and guidance from your dentist, and a considered approach to your daily oral hygiene regime, you could get rid of your bad breath in no time, all without having to undergo treatment.