Suffer from bad breath?

What is bad breath and what causes it?

Morning BreathThere are several names for bad breath. Some people call it “Morning Breath” – dentists and doctors tend to give it it’s clinical name: Halitosis.

Bad breath isn’t in itself an actual problem, but we are all well aware that it’s bearer can suffer major problems with self confidence and it can give a big impact in personal relationships and in the work place.

Most people would guess correctly that a major cause of bad breath boils down to the food we consume. Sure aren’t we all familiar with the “garlic breath” phenomenon. What is actually happening here is that food particles are transferred into the bloodstream, transferred to the lungs and then exhaled. Anyone been breathalysed lately?!

Most bad breath comes from small food particles trapped in our mouths. When food remains in the mouth, it becomes a breeding ground for the bacteria that can cause bad breath. Other causes would include:

  • poor oral health
  • leaving dentures in or not cleaning them properly
  • gingivitis and periodontal disease (both types of gum disease).
  • smoking.

Sometime bad breath can also be sign of an underlying medical condition of the stomach, lungs and bloodstream. Best get your doctor to check this out!

As dentists, another cause of bad breath that we are on the lookout for is Dry Mouth or Xerostomia as it is correctly called. When our mouth is dry and not making saliva, then it’s natural ability to ‘clean itself’ is impaired.

Tips to combat bad breath

  1. Brush your teeth and rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal.
  2. Give your tongue a brush too! (our tongues are covered with thousands of tiny hairs that can trap bacteria.)
  3. You know this one already… I say this in almost every blog post I write: have regular check-ups with your dentist. Doing so will help rule out gum disease and to address any problems like leaky fillings or crowns, all of which can act as food traps.
  4. Buy some sugarfree chewing gum – get that saliva flowing!
  5. Drink plenty of water (if you suffer from dry mouth).
  6. Avoid mouthwash that contains alcohol – these actually dry out the mouth even further.
  7. An obvious one…. but I’ll say it anyway – if you have an important meeting or a ‘hot date’, avoid foods that can cause bad breath, such as onions and garlic.
  8. Cut down on alcohol and caffeine – they can both lead to dry the mouth.
  9. Give up smoking. We can always tell a smokers breath a mile away – this is because nicotine builds up on the surfaces of the teeth, tongue and cheeks. It can also dry out the mouth and decrease saliva flow.

Further information about bad breath is available here on our website.

Mark Kelly - Dublin DentistWritten by Dr. Mark Kelly.
Suffer from bad breath and want a dental opinion? If you’re looking for a dentist in Dublin, we’re always happy to accept new patients. You can book an appointment online or call our reception team at 01-6655900. And as always, you can email us at info@shelbourneclinic.ie – during office hours we always aim to respond to queries within 30 minutes.

 

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