Bad breath is a very common problem with many different causes
- Persistent bad breath is usually caused by the smelly gases released by bacteria which coat your teeth, gums and tongue
- Food gets caught between your teeth and on your tongue, this rots and can cause an unpleasant smell
- Strong foods like garlic, coffee and onions add to the smell
It is very important to brush your teeth correctly and regularly
This helps to keep your breath smelling fresh by ensuring you have no food left between your teeth.
Plaque (the bacteria on our teeth and gums) causes gum disease and tooth decay. One of the warning signs of gum disease is that you always have a bad taste in your mouth or bad breath. Your hygienist will see and treat any problems during your regular check-ups. The earlier problems are found, the more effective your treatment will be.
Does anything else cause bad breath?
Some medical conditions also contribute to bad breath.
Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a condition where your mouth produces less saliva. This causes bacteria to build up in your mouth and leads to bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medicines, by salivary gland problems and by continually breathing through your mouth instead of your nose. Older people often produce less saliva.
If you suffer from dry mouth, your dental team may be able to recommend or prescribe an artificial saliva product. Or they may be able to suggest other ways of dealing with the problem.
Do medical conditions cause bad breath?
Infections in the throat, nose or lungs such as sinusitis, bronchitis, diabetes and or liver or kidney problems can also cause bad breath.
If your dentist in Milton Keynes finds that your mouth is healthy, you would be referred to your family GP to find out the cause of your bad breath.
Does smoking cause bad breath?
People who smoke are also more likely to suffer from gum disease and have a greater risk of developing cancer of the mouth, lung cancer and heart disease.
Tobacco causes its own type of bad breath. To stop this, just stop smoking.
As well as making your breath smell, smoking causes staining of your teeth and loss of taste, it also irritates your gums.
If you do stop smoking, but still have bad breath, you need to see your dentist or GP for advice.
Can my dentist help?
Regular check-ups will allow your dentist in Milton Keynes to watch out for any places where plaque is caught between your teeth.
Your dental hygienist will clean all those areas that are difficult for you to reach effectively. They will also be able to show you the best way to clean your teeth and gums, and they will show you any areas you may be missing, including your tongue.
How do I know if I have bad breath?
- Do people turn away from you when you start to talk?
- Do people turn their cheek when you kiss them goodbye?
If you think you may have bad breath lick the inside of your wrist and sniff – if the smell is bad, you can be fairly sure that you have bad breath.
Alternatively, ask a very good friend to be absolutely honest with you and ask them.
Should I tell someone they have bad breath?
Try talking to their partner or a family member, as their bad breath may be caused by a medical condition.
Is bad breath preventable?
You must get rid of any gum disease to keep your breath fresh.
- Brush your teeth and gums last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste
- Use a tongue scraper
- Cut down on how often you have sugary food and drinks
- Visit your dental team regularly
- Use ‘interdental’ brushes or floss at least once a day – brushing alone only cleans up to about 60% of the surface of your teeth
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash – one that could kill the bacteria that make your breath smell unpleasant. It is important to read the manufacturer’s instructions or ask your dental team how to use mouthwash safely
- Chew sugar free gum it will help your mouth to produce saliva and will stop it drying out
How can I prevent bad breath if I wear dentures?
Cleaning dentures is as important as cleaning natural teeth.
Bits of food can become caught around the edges of your dentures, and this food can rot if you do not clean your dentures thoroughly.
Soak your dentures in a specialist cleaner for a short time and then brush the dentures again. Brush them like you would brush your natural teeth.
Appledore Dental Clinic is a private cosmetic dentist in Milton Keynes, offering a range of dental treatments. Contact us for a FREE online consultation and chat to us about our 0% finance options.