Bad breath can happen to everyone, and many of us notice it in the morning after a night’s sleep. No one wants to have bad breath and this is why the supermarket shelves are loaded with mints, mouthwashes, and chewing gum to prevent that embarrassing occurrence. However, these remedies may only offer temporary results as they may not treat the real cause of the problem. Some people are over-anxious about bad breath, and others do not know they have it.
Lifestyle habits, medication and certain foods can all contribute to the condition of chronic bad breath known as halitosis. Bad breath can in many cases be improved by carrying out a good oral hygiene routine. If the problem persists then you should visit your dentist for a full check-up. At White Dental Rooms we recommend check-ups with the dentist every 6 months as well as visiting the hygienist.
The top 4 causes of bad breath are:
- Food and Drink
Eating foods such as onions and garlic will leave a distinctive smell on your breath that others can easily detect. Although these foods have a temporary effect, it still can be unpleasant for those around you. Drinking strong coffee can also leave a noticeable scent, and so it is important to be aware of what you eat and drink and who you might be coming into contact after. Food particles remaining in your mouth can also cause bad breath.
- Poor Dental Routine
When we eat and drink bacteria builds up in the mouth and can release gases that smell bad. To combat bad breath, it is very important to brush teeth thoroughly at least twice a day, including the tongue, as well as flossing in-between teeth to get rid of any food particles that a brush cannot reach. Removable dental devices such as dentures and braces should also be thoroughly cleaned. A sticky film of bacteria called plaque can form on teeth and if not removed it can lead to bad breath and gum disease. A good oral care routine with regular dental check-ups will considerably improve your breath.
- Dry Mouth
The saliva in your mouth plays an important role in cleansing it and neutralising bad odours. A condition called dry mouth (xerostomia) can cause bad breath because saliva production is decreased. Dry mouth can occur naturally during sleep, especially if you sleep with your mouth open or snore, and can lead to the well-known ‘morning breath’. Not eating enough can also cause bad breath as the mouth is not producing as much saliva as it would normally to aid digestion. Dry mouth can also be caused by certain medications, and the medical conditions themselves like acid reflux or some cancers.
After smoking the smell of the tobacco remains in the mouth (and the lungs) for a long time, and can be easily sensed on the person’s breath. The chemicals in tobacco smoke stain the teeth and can lead to secondary causes of bad breath such as gum disease. In fact, smokers are at a higher risk of developing gum disease. Smokers tend to also have a poorer sense of smell so may not realise that their breath is unpleasant.