Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Some people suffer from bad breath without knowing it, whilst others build-up exaggerated fears about breath odour even though they do not have it. The best way to find out whether we have bad breath is to ask for someone else's opinion. If genuinely present, bad breath is usually treatable once a proper diagnosis is made.
To help your dentist asses for bad breath:
- not to eat, drink, smoke, chew gum, suck confectionery, use mouthwashes, breath fresheners etc. , prior to your next appointment, so that the odour will be more typical.
- Similarly you should also avoid using perfumed cosmetic products, such as perfume, aftershave and scented lipstick prior to the appointment.
Where Does The Odour Come From?
- In most cases bad breath comes from the mouth. This is an indication of bacterial activity somewhere in the mouth.
- Rarely, the odour comes from the nose, in which case sinusitis, polyps, a foreign body or hindered mucous flow may be to blame.
- The source of bad breath is the breakdown of proteins by a variety of micro-organisms, which involves the release of foul smelling gases. Poor oral hygiene, gum problems, insufficient saliva flow and post-nasal drips are possible sources of malodour.
- In people with healthy gums the odour frequently comes from far back on the tongue and grows stronger when the patient starts talking.
- Bad breath due to gum disease can be treated but relies upon you maintaining good oral hygiene between appointments. Cleaning of the spaces between the teeth is of great importance. One tip to lessen the bad breath is to smell the odour coming from the dental floss, and to work to clean these areas carefully.
- If the back of the tongue is the problem we may recommend cleaning the area with a toothbrush dipped in mouthwash. It takes some patience to overcome the gagging reflex but eventually tongue cleaning becomes easy. Other less common causes of bad breath can also be treated.
Some Do's and Don'ts regarding Bad Breath:
- Visit your dentist regularly
- Have your teeth cleaned periodically by a dentalprofessional
- Brush and floss your teeth regularly
- Keep dentures scrupulously clean ,
- Don't ignore cleaning your teeth
- Don't rely on mouthwash alone
- Don't brush your tongue with regular toothpaste and don't clean it so hard that it hurts