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Halitosis- Bad Breath

Halitosis, or more commonly known as bad breath can be a difficult subject to discuss and can be the cause of embarrassment and negatively affect self esteem and social confidence for some people who experience bad breath. A lot of people don’t even know that they have it! With Valentine’s Day fast approaching- now is the time to banish bad breath for good.

Halitosis or bad breath is caused by certain bacteria within the mouth that creates a sulphur byproduct during metabolism of foods. It is not only associated with bad odour or breath but you may also find a white coating on the tongue, experience dry mouth, thick saliva or taste changes- constant sour or bitter metallic taste.

halitosis, what causes bad breath, how to prevent bad breath

are you worried about bad breath?

Are you worried about bad breath? There are several causes for bad breath symptoms, some that are rather temporary and others that can cause chronic bad breath.

1. Foods- such as garlic and onions

2. Smoking- reduces oxygen in the mouth, creating an odour on the breath

3. Xerostomia or dry mouth

4. Dental infections- tooth decay, abscess/infection and gingivitis/gum disease can contribute to bad breath

5. Poor restorations or broken teeth can create food traps that can be difficult to keep clean

6. Poor oral hygiene increases bacterial presence in the mouth and on the tongue surface

7. Medical conditions and medications- such as diabetes, pneumonia, tonislitis, acid reflux, stomach issues and liver/kidney disease can be associated with bad breath. If there are no dental issues identified to contributing to bad breath, seek advice from your general practitioner (G.P.)

8. Dentures and other dental appliances such as retainers and splints.

9. Mouth breathing

Or it could be any combination of the above contributing to your bad breath.

It is important to get to the cause of what is causing bad breath. In some cases, the cause itself cannot be eliminated but appropriate products can then be recommended to manage and treat the symptoms of bad breath.

To make sure you are ready for this valentine’s day there are some things you can do to fight bad breath.

1. Maintain good oral hygiene routines. Brushing twice daily and flossing once a day removes plaque, bacteria and food sources that may cause bad breath

2. brush your tongue! the tongue has many grooves that bacteria, plaque and food can get trapped and if not removed cause bad odour in the mouth. Most tooth brush heads have tongue cleaners on the opposite side of the bristles- or specific tongue cleaners can be purchased to scrape bacteria from the tongue. This should be done once a day.

3. Stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water throughout the day to keep hydrated and prevent dry mouth. As the soft tissues of the mouth dry out, it provides the perfect conditions for bacteria to thrive and multiply. It also removes food remnants from the teeth. It is recommended to drink 2L of water a day.

4. Use of mouth rinses and sugar free gum can reduce bacterial load and increase saliva production for short term relief of dry mouth symptoms

5. dry mouth and saliva replacement products can be effective when there is reduced saliva flow or dry mouth symptoms are a causative agent. There are numerous products available- speak to your dental professional or pharmacy staff for more information.

6. if you wear an appliance- such as an occlusal splint or retainer- make sure that you are cleaning it every day to remove bacteria and food that may cause odour. Rinse with water after removing the appliance as it can create dry mouth.

7. Attend routine preventative care appointments with cleans to remove plaque and calculus to keep your mouth fresh! Any dental disease will also be detected and treated early.

Remember- naturally there is less saliva produced at night. Particularly if you snore or breath through mouth while sleeping, bad breath and dry mouth is expected in the morning. Have a glass of water nearby and try a dry mouth product before bed if you find this problematic.

Whether it is for a date this Valentine’s Day, catching up with friends or a job interview- no one wants to be caught off guard with bad breath. Follow these tips to keep your breath fresh- not just for Valentine’s Day but all year round.

If you have persistent bad breath and nothing is helping- contact us on 03 5223 1555 and speak with our professional staff today.


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