It’s a bit embarrassing – how do you know if you have bad breath, who can you ask and what can you do if you suspect that you have?
Well, this is an surprisingly common complaint and source of anxiety for patients of all ages; at Portobello Dental we prefer to take a team approach to solving this problem. This involves our dentist(s) and hygienists consulting over your care, diagnosis and treatment.
What are the causes of bad breath?
1-Decayed teeth are a common cause of the odour. This cause can be eliminated by treatment of the decay by one of our dentists—usually by means of a dental restoration(filling).
2- The bacteria that cause the decay, can also give off an odour. Gums act like a cuff around the tooth. If bacteria are allowed to rest around this cuff, they can ‘eat’ the gum tissue (gum/periodontal disease) and dissolve the bone supporting the tooth. This will give off a particularly bad odour.
3-Sometimes medication can dry your mouth, and without the washing effect of the anti-microbials in your saliva, the naturally occurring bacteria can produce sulphides and can cause bad breath.
4-Breathing through your mouth can also lead to dryness. Blocked sinuses will increase your likelihood to breathe through your mouth. If you have a runny nose (post nasal drip) this can lead to dryness and also a coating on your tongue. Working in an air conditioned environment can dehydrate, and can lead to bad breath. It is very important to stay hydrated.
5-A coated tongue has long been viewed in Chinese medicine as a sign of being unwell. In western medicine, this is largely overlooked. The main cause of coating tends to be of fungal origin. This can be caused by an upset in your stomachs natural flora. Excess of yeast beers, and even white breads can be a factor. Live cultures such as cheeses and yoghurts can also affect your natural flora.
6-Digestive problems such as oesophageal reflux and hiatus hernia are something you will need to address with your GP, but can be a cause of bad breath.
How do we at Portobello Dental Clinic treat this embarrassing social problem of bad breath?
Depending on the cause of the breath issue, the treatment will greatly differ.
1-Good oral hygiene and a healthy mouth will reduce the likelihood of halitosis. So if your gums bleed when brushing, or you don’t brush effectively or for long enough you may have bad breath.
2-If you have tooth decay this can lead to an odour. Your dentist will help you resolve these issues.
3-If the origin is throat, sinus or tummy, you need to see your GP. Excess of dairy or yeast products is something your GP can also help detect.
4-Yoga classes can teach you to breathe through your nose. People with asthma, with an open lip seal or sinus issues can benefit from this.
5-Oral hygiene products can help with halitosis. Corsodyl daily toothpaste (previously called Paradontax) has a very ‘unique’ taste, but is extremely effective at treating halitosis.
6-Some mouthwashes can have effect against bad breath, and are great for daily use in preventing bad breath, but if bad breath is a problem it needs to be addressed properly.
7-Some people suffer from bad breath 1st thing in the morning. This isn’t unusual. Breathing through your mouth at night, being dehydrated, not brushing properly before bed can all be factors. By eating your breakfast, this can help to stimulate your saliva and dissolve the sulphites that may be the cause of bad breath.
8- Chewing gum can mask the smell (NB – Sugar free!!!). Some food garlic, curry etc can leave a odour on your breath. Just be aware of this, as no mouthwash will help this.
IT TAKES A LOT FOR SOMEONE TO SAY YOUR BREATH SMELLS, SO TAKE IT SERIOUSLY!!
If you would like to speak to one of our dentists in confidence about this, please contact us on 01 4542022 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org to arrange for a consultation