Most of us have experienced bad breath at some point, but what actually causes it? Bad breath, otherwise known as halitosis, is caused by an overproduction of sulphur producing bacteria which is commonly found on the tongue or throat. The treatment of bad breath is usually quite simple and most of it can be done at home. Listed below are tips to help treat bad breath.
- Brush and floss regularly
- Brush your tongue
- Stay hydrated
- Avoid certain foods and drinks
- Avoid smoking
- Clean your dentures and retainers regularly
- Regular dental check-ups and cleans
- Consult your GP for other underlying causes.
1. Brush and floss regularly
Good oral hygiene is important in reducing the sticky film of bacteria that causes bad breath. We recommend brushing at least twice a day and flossing once a day to prevent the build-up of bacteria. We recommend a soft bristled toothbrush which should be replaced every three to four months.
2. Clean your Tongue
The most common reason for bad breath is because people often overlook the need to brush their tongue. Plaque and food can get trapped in the fibres (papillae) of the tongue which then causes bad breath. Gentle sweeps of your toothbrush along the surface of the tongue will help remove the plaque deposits. Alternatively you could also use a tongue scraper which are available from your local chemist.
3. Stay hydrated
Drinking plenty of water and chewing sugar-free gum can help maintain good levels of saliva in your mouth. Saliva is important because it helps to counteract the acids produced by plaque, moisten the mouth and wash away the debris that collects on the gums, tongue and cheek.
4. Avoid certain foods and drinks
It is well known that certain foods and drinks can cause bad breath. Foods (strong cheeses, garlic, onions) and drinks (coffee, alcoholic drinks) leave a residue that binds to the plaque in your mouth creating bad breath. It is advisable to brush your teeth or chew sugar-free gum after consuming these drinks/food.
5. Avoid smoking
Any tobacco related product can cause bad breath by leaving smoke particles in the throat and lungs which can linger for hours, hence the stale smell associated with smoker’s breath. In the long term, repeatedly inhaling the tobacco gases can cause the palate to dry out resulting in a chemical film where bacteria often thrives. Avoiding smoking is the best solution, however if you are a smoker then the best way to try and counteract these effects is to brush your teeth, chew sugar-free gum and stay hydrated.
6. Clean your dentures and retainers regularly
Dentures and retainers that are not cleaned properly can harbour bacteria which can cause bad breath and other oral conditions. At Hill Bayford & Associates, we recommend cleaning your dentures and retainers with a soft toothbrush and hand soap daily, and to avoid wearing dentures at night.
7. Regular dental check-ups and cleans
Gum disease, tooth decay and infections are common reasons for bad breath. It is important to get your teeth checked and cleaned regularly. The dentists at Hill Bayford & Associates will be able to early-identify if you suffer from any of these conditions and help develop a treatment plan before these problems getting any worse.
8. Consult your GP for other underlying causes.
Sometimes the side-effects of medications, acid reflux or other general health conditions can cause bad breath. If you have tried the tips above with limited success then we recommend you consult with your doctor to determine if there are any other underlying causes of your bad breath.
If you would like further advice on any of the above tips, feel free to contact our friendly team for further information