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Bad Breath (Halitosis)

16th August 2016

Common Causes of Bad Breath

We’ve all been in a situation when we’ve had to take a step back because of someone’s bad breath. Bad breath is quite common and in most cases easy to treat.

Bad breath occurs when volatile sulphur compounds are released through the mouth. Here are the commonest causes:

  • Poor Oral HygieneBacteria that build up on your teeth – particularly between them – as well as your tongue and gums, can produce unpleasant-smelling gases. These bacteria are also responsible for gum disease and tooth decay.If you don’t clean your teeth regularly, any food trapped between your teeth will be broken down by the bacteria and may be responsible for bad breath.
  • DietEating strongly flavoured foods such as garlic, onions and spices, are likely to make your breath smell. Strong-smelling drinks, such as coffee and alcohol, can also cause bad breath.
    Bad breath caused by food and drink is usually temporary. It can be avoided by not eating or drinking these types of food and drink too often. Good dental hygiene will also help.
  • DehydrationA dry mouth caused by mouth breathing, inadequate fluid intake or medication can lead to a foul smelling breath.You can fix the problem by having frequent sips of water through the day to keep your mouth moist. Chewing sugar free gum between meals or sucking on xylitol sweets can help to stimulate saliva production.
  • SmokingSmoking is a major cause of bad breath and most smokers have a distinctive smell to their breath. As well as causing bad breath, smoking stains your teeth, irritates your gums, and reduces your sense of taste.It can also significantly affect the development of gum disease, another major cause of bad breath. Stopping smoking will lower your risk of gum disease and help prevent bad breath.
  • Sinus and Chest InfectionsConditions affecting your sinus such as a common cold, hay fever or infectious respiratory conditions cause fluid loss through the nose. In addition bacteria drip from your nasal passages onto your throat. This will almost always lead to bad breath. This can be reduced by increasing your fluid intake when suffering from any of the above.

Prevention And Treatment Of Bad Breath

Treatment of bad breath depends on the cause. Most times bad breath can be treated by simply modifying your habits.

  • See your Dentist to identify the cause and give advice on appropriate treatment. This is quite important as some types of bad breath can be indicative of liver or kidney problems.
  • Maintain a good Oral Hygiene routine by brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day.
  • Limit intake of foods with strong odours like garlic and onions.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Rehydrate regularly by drinking lots of water.
  • Chew sugar free gum between meals.
  • Use of mouthwashes such as CB12 designed to help stop bad breath
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