Bad breath is something that we all dread having as no one wants to offend anyone else, but it can be very difficult to tell if your own breath is bad, and you may need to have a quiet word with a close friend or relative to find out the truth. If it’s bad news, then there are various things you can do, but the main thing is to find out why you have halitosis rather than to concentrate on masking the odour. The main reasons for halitosis include:
- Poor oral hygiene. Having poor oral hygiene will allow food particles to build up in your mouth, increasing the numbers of bacteria. Rotting food, combined with large amounts of bacteria will give off noxious odours, and will increase your risk of gum disease and tooth decay.
- Failing to clean dentures or other dental appliances will have the same effect. Allowing food and bacteria to build up on dental appliances will give you bad breath. Dental appliances need to be thoroughly cleaned at least once a day in order to avoid giving offense, and to keep your mouth healthy.
- Certain foods can promote bad breath, and well-known offenders include onion and garlic. In this case there is simply nothing else to do but to wait for these foods to be eliminated from your body. They make your breath smell after they have been ingested and have entered your bloodstream, eventually being exhaled through the lungs, so it’s simply a matter of waiting and trying to mask the odours with mints and mouthwash.
- People on low-carb diets and or those who are dieting often have strange smelling breath as the lack of carbohydrates can force the body to break down fats, releasing ketones as a result.
- Anyone with dry mouth is also likely to have bad breath. Saliva is very important to oral health as it helps to neutralise the acids and washes away excess food particles and dead skin cells. Dry mouth or xerostomia, can be due to several different reasons, as it can be caused by mouth breathing or having problems with the saliva glands, or it may be due to prescription medications. Anyone with dry mouth should ask Leeds City Dentalcare for advice on dealing with this condition, as there are various things that can help.
- Smoking will dry out the mouth, leading to similar problems as with xerostomia. A lack of saliva helps to promote the growth of bacteria in the mouth, and will give you bad breath.
- Having a bad cold or sinusitis increases the risk of bad breath, due to the secretions dripping down the back of the throat.
If you have bad breath, and are not sure what has caused it then it is worth booking a check-up with Dr David Brown, or with another of our dentist at Leeds. If it is due to poor oral hygiene that has resulted in tooth decay or gum disease, then we can provide treatment to help clear up these conditions. Our dental team can also give you lots of advice on how to care for your teeth and gums. If we can’t find any reason for your bad breath, then we may recommend you visit your doctor, just to make sure it is not due to a medical condition.