Bad breath is a very common problem and there can be many different causes. Although persistent bad breath is usually caused by the gases released by the bacteria that coat you teeth and gums.
What causes bad breath?
- Food can get caught in the teeth and on the tongue can release a bad smell so correct brushing and losing is very important
However strong smelling foods such as garlic, onions and coffee can worsen the problem.
- The bacteria on you teeth and gums also cause gum disease and dental decay. One warning sign of gum disease is a persistent bad taste in you mouth or long lasting bad breath. This is why regular dental and hygiene visits are important to screen for any gum disease. Obviously the earliest any dental problem is found the better the treatment outcome will be.
- Smoking causes its own form of bad breath and the only solution to this is to stop smoking. We can help you with smoking cessation advice and refer you top your GP where they can recommend an appropriate replacement therapy if required.
What health problems are associated with bad breath?
- Dry mouth (xerstomia) is a condition that’s affects the flow of saliva. This can cause a build up of bacteria in the mouth and thus bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by medicines, post chemotherapy and radiotherapy and mouthbreathing at night.
- Infections in the throat, nose or lungs, diabetes or occasionally liver and kidney disease can cause bad breath and if we think it is appropriate we will refer you to you GP for further investigations
How can I treat bad breath?
- The most important first step is to discuss it with your dentist. We will complete a full gum or periodontal assessment and treat any underlying gum disease if this is the problem.
Mouthwashes can help in the short term but some mouthwashes recommended for gum disease can cause teeth staining and taste disturbances so always consult your dentist first.