Halitosis: causes and how to deal with it

Bad breath – also known as halitosis – is a common problem, but one that people don’t like to talk about. Everyone is likely to suffer from halitosis at some point in their life, but for some people it can become a chronic problem that friends and family are too embarrassed to tell them about. Here, we look at the common causes of bad breath, and how to get rid of it for good.

gum diseaseIt’s easy to know if someone else has bad breath, although not always easy to tell them. However, it can be tricky to know if you are suffering from halitosis yourself: lick the inside of your wrist and sniff. If it smells bad, your breath is likely to smell bad too.

If this is the case, don’t panic; book an appointment to see your dentist. At Forest Dental Practice we have helped many patients to cure their halitosis, boosting their self-esteem to boot.

Common causes of bad breath

There are many causes of bad breath. These include:

1 Strong-tasting foods and drinks.

Certain foods and drinks, including onions and garlic, some cheeses and coffee, can cause bad breath. This will be temporary, for a few hours after eating or drinking. Brushing your teeth after every meal can help to combat this type of bad breath.

2 Medications.

Certain medications can also cause temporary bad breath. This can be particularly true for medicines that leave you with a dry mouth. Chewing sugar-free chewing gum and regular tooth brushing can help, and the problem should resolve itself after your course of medication is complete.

3 Poor dental hygiene.

Poor dental hygiene is the biggest cause of long-term bad breath. Particles of food that get trapped on or between the teeth start to decay and release unpleasant-smelling gasses, which leads to bad breath. A build-up of plaque bacteria on the teeth can also cause halitosis. It is often one of the first noticeable symptoms of gum disease.

You can prevent this by regularly brushing and flossing your teeth, and by visiting your dentist and hygienist at least every six months. They will be able to diagnose and treat the early signs of gum disease, can remove any plaque from your teeth, and can recommend the best brushing and flossing techniques for you to use at home.