It’s unpleasant and embarrassing – and it affects up to 60% of the population. Bad breath is often thought of as a ‘fact of life’ – but actually it’s never normal to have bad breath, and there is something you can do about it. Although lifestyle changes often help to treat most cases, bad breath can also be a sign of something wrong, so it’s always important to get it checked out by your dental professional. Here we share three key ways to avoid or treat bad breath – including some surprising foods you may not realise are contributing to the problem.
Practice proper hygiene at home
The first step towards fresh breath is a good daily oral hygiene routine. Be sure to brush your teeth twice a day at least, and don’t forget to floss. Flossing is often thought of as secondary to brushing, but it’s particularly essential if you want to avoid or treat bad breath. That’s because tiny particles of food and bacteria can easily become lodged between the teeth, where they often stay stuck for long periods of time and begin to smell. Flossing removes debris straight away to prevent it from causing unpleasant symptoms over time.
If your bad breath appears to be linked to certain foods or drinks such as coffee (more on this below), you may want to brush or have a quick rinse with mouthwash after consuming them, too. Your tongue can trap bacteria as well as your teeth – so invest in a scraper to get rid of unwanted build-up.
Speak to us
Never let bad breath go untreated. If halitosis is concerning for you, speak with our expert dentists at The Eram Clinic to find out the root cause behind it, and explore possible treatment options. Certain diseases and infections can cause unpleasant smelling breath, so it’s important to rule those out in the first instance.
As dentists we have a variety of tools and treatments at our disposal to help us combat bad breath in patients. One of the easiest ways to keep on top of halitosis is scheduling regular oral hygiene appointments at The Eram Clinic, where the dentist gently deep cleans your entire mouth to clear away bad breath-causing bacteria. We may also recommend at-home treatments such as specialist rinses and personalised plans to help you beat bad breath for good.
It may also be that a longer-term solution is required to help you tackle bad breath. For some, crooked or abnormally placed teeth can cause bacteria to continually become lodged, resulting in a chronic case of halitosis. In these situations we may recommend an orthodontic treatment to straighten and realign the teeth, so you can easily take good care of them and keep halitosis at bay.
Tailored assessment of your case and needs is key to ensure that we can properly treat bad breath with a variety of short and longer term solutions.
Staying hydrated throughout the day is a very simple and inexpensive (yet highly effective) treatment for bad breath. Saliva in the mouth helps to cleanse and remove particles responsible for bad odours. A dry mouth is often the culprit behind bad breath – this is why people often experience bad breath in the mornings, especially if they sleep with their mouth open. Dry mouth can be a result of something as innocent as not drinking enough water throughout the day – but it can also be linked to certain health conditions and medications.
Avoid certain foods
Did you know that certain foods can contribute more to unpleasant smelling breath than others? There are the more obvious ones – such as onion, coffee and garlic – but you might be surprised to learn that certain spices, meats, fish and vegetables can also contribute to bad breath. Sugary drinks such as juices, sodas and alcohol also contribute greatly to foul-smelling breath – as bacteria loves to feed on sugar. Always rinse the mouth with plenty of water after consuming sugary drinks – and brush or rinse with mouthwash if necessary – for an added layer of protection.
Last but not least, we must address smoking as a major cause of bad breath. The only way to avoid bad breath caused by smoking is to stop smoking – so be sure to speak to your doctor about resources to help you quit. There are many health benefits attached with stopping smoking of course – including those specific to your teeth including yellowing and staining, and risk of mouth cancers.
Get in touch today for tailored support with bad breath.