Bad breath (or halitosis) is an unpleasant odour which can occur from time to time or be long lasting. Halitosis can be embarrassing so if you think you might have this problem then please come and see us at Werribee Dental Clinic. We can provide you with a diagnosis and a treatment plan if required, to get your breath smelling nice and fresh once more.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Temporary bad breath can be due to eating onions or garlic, or another highly flavoured food and in this case you will need to wait for the food to be eliminated from your body. More persistent bad breath usually results from a problem in your mouth. We have millions of bacteria that live in the mouth, particularly on the back of the tongue and these bacteria feed on the food debris that accumulates in the mouth and between our teeth. The bacteria give off a sulphur compound and it is this that creates an unpleasant odour. Smoking and drinking alcohol can both contribute to halitosis. There are other conditions which affect the airways and stomach that can lead to bad breath too.
Treating Bad Breath
Improving your oral hygiene is the most effective way to eliminate bad breath. Brushing your teeth and tongue twice a day using fluoride toothpastes, as well as flossing, will remove the bacteria which generally causes the odour. If you would like some advice and practical help on brushing and flossing then please just ask us. We are always delighted to help our patients improve their dental knowledge and often being shown a few simple techniques on how to brush and floss more effectively can make the world of difference to your oral health and to your breath.
Other things that can help include:
- Drinking plenty of water
- Chewing sugar-free gum after meals
- Stopping smoking
- Eating a well-balanced diet
- Making regular visits to our dentist and having your teeth professionally cleaned
Other causes of bad breath (which can be treated by our dentist) include:
- Gum infections (Periodontal disease)
- Decayed teeth
- A condition called ‘Dry mouth’ affecting the flow of saliva (saliva is very important for keeping your mouth clean and fresh)
If our dentist finds that your mouth is healthy but you still have bad breath, you may be referred to your family medical practitioner as there are other causes of bad breath –
- Sinusitis and bronchitis.
- Problems within the stomach.
- Liver and kidney problems.