If you’re always chewing gum or popping mints in an effort to mask your breath, you’re not alone. Bad breath is a humiliating and embarrassing problem that affects approximately 1 in 4 of us – in fact, it’s the third most common issue that people visit their dentist for, after gum disease and tooth decay. Aside from being unpleasant for those around you, it can sometimes indicate underlying health issues. For patients in Wilmslow, Cheadle Hulme, and Alderley Edge, dental practice Church Road and Cosmetic have some practical tips on bad breath treatment. So let’s dive straight in to find out the causes and cures…
First of all, what causes bad breath?
Bad breath (also commonly known as halitosis) is more often than not caused by a build-up of bacteria due to poor oral hygiene – in other words, not flossing and brushing properly on a daily basis. Bad breath often described as ‘morning mouth’ is pretty normal and doesn’t often signal a health concern. On the other hand, if you seem to persistently suffer from bad breath it can sometimes indicate problems with your teeth, gums or overall health.
A few issues that can leave your breath not smelling its best are:
- Lifestyle choices – regularly choosing strongly scented foods and drinks such as onions, garlic, and coffee along with smoking can all take their toll. They linger around the mouth for long periods of time and negatively affect the way your breath smells.
- A dry mouth – saliva helps keep bacteria in our mouths at bay thanks to its antibacterial substances and it also helps to flush out pieces of food left over after eating. People who snore or breathe through their mouth while asleep are particularly prone to waking up with a dry mouth and bad breath.
- Drugs – some medications can reduce the production of saliva and increase the chance of an unpleasant odour. Certain drugs actually produce a bad smell as they break down, releasing chemicals into the breath.
- Respiratory, throat, mouth or nose conditions – discharge from a sinus infection is known to cause bad breath, along with upper respiratory infections such as pneumonia, bronchitis or simply just a common cold or a sore throat.
- Diseases – sometimes underlying health conditions can contribute to halitosis, such as uncontrolled diabetes and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD).
Bad breath treatment
The good news is that in many cases, the problems causing bad breath can be easily treated. To help banish your bad breath for good, here are 5 top tips to leave your mouth smelling much fresher for longer:
1. Maintain a great oral hygiene routine.
Brushing your teeth removes any leftover food particles and helps to keep bacteria at bay. Don’t forget about flossing either, it reaches those areas between your teeth that your toothbrush just can’t get to. It’s also worth noting that if you’ve had a lot of dental work done – crowns, bridges or dental implants in Manchester – you may need to take extra care to clean every nook and cranny. Neglecting your oral health will lead to gum problems that give off smelly acids that can make your breath smell less than pleasant.
2. Clean your tongue
When it comes to oral hygiene, cleaning the tongue is often overlooked – but a lot of smelly sulphurous compounds are often lurking at the back of the tongue. That being the case, it may be time to start brushing your tongue or invest in a scraper.
3. Keep hydrated
Drinking enough water not only keeps your body functioning properly but also helps keep your saliva flowing. Although you might not even notice you’re thirsty, try to make drinking water a regular habit. On the other hand, stay away from sugary drinks that not only contribute to bad breath but also lead to other dental issues like tooth decay.
4. Snack on healthy, crunchy foods
The hard texture of healthy foods like celery, carrots, and apples can actually act as nature’s toothbrush. As you chew, they often remove any food trapped between your teeth and rub away any bacteria that’s coating them.
5. Quit smoking
Smoking dries out your mouth and body tissues. By regularly inhaling hot gases, it leaves the tongue and gums parched, creating an environment where bacteria can quickly breed. What’s more, it increases the risk of gum disease and infection which also leave your breath smelling foul.
When it’s time to visit your dentist
If you’re following the 5 steps above but find you’re still suffering from bad breath then a visit to your Alderley Edge dental practice might be in order. Your dentist will be able to spot any culprits like gum disease or tooth decay that could be causing your bad breath. If the problem persists and there’s no oral issue to blame, a trip to your GP may be advised.
If you’re worried about halitosis, why not book an appointment with our team here at Church Road Dental and Cosmetic on 0161 486 0743. Our dental hygienists will help you learn how best to maintain your oral health and show you how to clean around any restorations that you struggle with like bridges, or dental implants. Manchester patients can fight halitosis and keep their mouth smelling fresh by following these top tips for bad breath treatment.