The correct medical term for bad breath is halitosis. It is something that will affect most people at some point, and is often due to eating particular foods, with the most common culprits being garlic and onions. Having bad breath due to eating certain foods is only a temporary situation, and isn’t really a cause for concern.
The problem can be far more serious if bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene or to some underlying health condition. Halitosis can also be down to certain lifestyle choices. If you have persistent bad breath then it is always worth investigating the reason why, so you can take action to remedy the problem.
Why does Eating Certain Foods Affect Breath?
Eating something highly flavoured is perhaps the most common reason for halitosis, and although some people will try to mask odours through brushing their teeth and using mouthwash, these will only have a very temporary effect. The reason for this lies in the way foods are digested. Once they have been broken down and digested, they are absorbed into the bloodstream, and odours are eventually carried to the lungs and eliminated in the breath. Strong foods such as garlic will continue to make your breath smell until they have been eliminated from the body. Halitosis due to ingesting strongly flavoured foods is a minor and temporary problem.
Poor Oral Hygiene
One of major reasons for bad breath is simply due to poor oral hygiene. Failing to brush twice a day and to floss once-a-day means some food particles will remain in the mouth, trapped in between the teeth and on the gums.
Failure to Clean Dental Appliances
Halitosis can be a problem for denture wearers who are less than vigilant over cleaning. Failing to thoroughly clean a denture every day will allow particles of food and plaque bacteria to build up on the surfaces of the denture. The same applies to any type of removable dental appliance, including braces, partial dentures and implant supported dentures.
It is thought that approximately 80% of cases of halitosis are caused by oral disease or inflammation. One of the most common reasons is gum disease or periodontal disease. This often occurs as a result of poor oral hygiene, and one of the early symptoms is halitosis. Periodontal disease is a bacterial infection, and the build-up of bacteria can create noxious odours.
Smoking is well-known for causing bad breath. Smoking can also irritate the gums, increasing the risk of gum disease, and therefore halitosis.
Visit Your Dentist to Discover the Cause of Your Halitosis
If you have persistent bad breath then it is worth trying to investigate the cause, and your dentist is the best person to ask for advice. Booking a full check-up and professional cleaning will allow them to diagnose any dental problems that may be causing your bad breath. They can then work out a suitable treatment plan to help resolve the problem. If your problem is due to more extensive dental disease, such as periodontal disease then they may refer you to a periodontist for specialist treatment. Your hygienist can advise you on the best way to look after your teeth and gums at home, keeping your breath fresh in between appointments. Your dentist or hygienist may recommend the use of a therapeutic mouthwash containing ingredients that can kill the germs which may cause bad breath. If your dentist cannot find any cause for your bad breath then they might refer you to a doctor to investigate the reason.
If you are suffering from bad breath and want to visit us at Rodney Street Dental for some advice and a solution, then just call us on 0151 707 1811 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org