Many of us worry about bad breath, whether we are affected or not. There are many reasons for bad breath, sometimes also called halitosis and this article explains a few of the common causes.
It’s difficult to assess how your own breath smells but you can ask a trusted friend or try smelling your breath by breathing out with a hand placed gently over your nose and mouth. Your dentist or hygienist will also confirm if you think bad breath is an issue for you and you can ask them how to treat it.
Most causes of bad breath start in the mouth and can be caused by poor oral hygiene. It’s important to make sure you clean your teeth twice daily and floss regularly or as advised by your dental professional. Certain foods eg garlic, onions or spicy foods, alcohol or cigarettes can lead to bad breath and you may prefer to avoid these if you are particularly affected.
There can be other causes of bad breath. Poor fitting crowns, bridgework, broken or old fillings as well as deep gum pockets or partially erupted wisdom teeth can lead to food being trapped and stagnating in the mouth. Gum disease can go unnoticed and it is important to see a professional at the earliest opportunity if you think this is causing your bad breath. Your hygienist can really help pinpoint the causes of bad breath, give your mouth a thorough clean and advise about oral health routines you can continue at home.
Bad breath can be linked to a dry mouth and there can be several causes, and solutions for this. If you are affected by lung infection, kidney/liver failure or gastrointestinal problems this may also cause bad breath.
If you have throat infections, ulcers or sinus problems, you may find thicker deposits forming on your tongue and you will probably be less enthusiastic about oral hygiene if you’re under the weather. Sticking to your usual oral care regime is particular important but most of these conditions are temporary.