Bad Breath

In most cases, bad breath also known as halitosis comes from the mouth. Therefore, maintaining good oral hygiene is very important to prevent bad breath.

What is halitosis?

Halitosis is the clinical word for bad breath. It is described as an intensive bad smell that remains for an extended amount of time. It’s easy to understand that halitosis can affect a person’s social life. Many people might think they have bad breath or fear having bad breath, but it may not be detectable during your examination with a dental professional. This is known as pseudo halitosis. Genuine, detectable halitosis is recognised by a dental professional after having your mouth closed for one minute. Don’t hesitate to ask your dental professional if you have concerns about bad breath. Halitosis is quite common and often easy to prevent and treat.

What causes bad breath

In 80-90% of cases, bad breath originates from the oral cavity. Your mouth contains bacteria which break down proteins from food debris, saliva, and plaque. This breakdown process generates bad-smelling gases. Therefore, maintaining good oral hygiene to avoid bacterial build-up is very important to prevent bad breath.

If you suffer from gum inflammation (gingivitis) or loosening of teeth (periodontitis), your mouth contains an extra amount of bacteria that contribute to bad breath. In these cases, professional treatment of the diseases is necessary to help cure bad breath.

Bacteria also thrive on the top surface of the tongue and reducing these bacteria is an important part of treating bad breath. Tobacco use is strongly connected to bad breath. Bad breath can also be caused by strongly flavoured food and strong-smelling drinks such as coffee and alcohol. Bad breath caused by eating and drinking is often temporary. Medication and some medical conditions may be a source of bad breath, contact your health professional for advice.

Treating bad breath

Depending on the cause of your bad breath the treatment can vary. Usually, good oral hygiene is effective – cleaning your gums and teeth twice a day, as well as cleaning between your teeth with interdental brushes or dental floss. Use a tongue cleaner to prevent the build-up of bacteria on your tongue and reduce bad breath.

How to prevent bad breath

The most efficient way to prevent bad breath is to maintain a good daily oral hygiene routine.

  • Brush your teeth with a gentle toothbrush with fluoride toothpaste twice a day.
  • Use an interdental brush or dental floss to clean between the teeth, where the most bacteria hide.
  • Use a tongue cleaner to remove bacteria from the tongue surface
  • Visit your dentist regularly for a check-up of your oral hygiene.