What Is The Best Treatment For Bad Breath?
Bad breath (Halitosis) can be treated in a number of ways depending on the cause of the problem.
There are many different causes of bad breath so diagnosing that first brings you one step closer to solving and treating it.
We will now go through some common causes of halitosis and how it is treated:
The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene, when food particles are left in the mouth for a long time bacteria and saliva work together to produce toxins that break down the food causing an unpleasant smell. Plaque can form round the teeth, tongue and gum as a result of poor oral hygiene and this sticky substance can trap food.
Flossing and brushing regularly will help stop plaque from forming and from food particles being left in your mouth. This will help stop bad breath, regular dental check-ups will also help as your dentist will be able to spot any areas of the mouth you are missing when brushing. Brushing your tongue is also important as bacteria can be left on the rough surface of it and this can cause odour to be released if left for a long time.
Food and drink that have strong smells and flavours such as garlic, onions, fish, certain spices, alcohol and coffee will all inevitably cause bad breath. Luckily these are temporary and can be avoided by simply not eating or drinking these types of food or drink. Sugary food and drinks can also increase the bacteria in your mouth that releases unpleasant smelling toxins.
Although these are sometimes unavoidable when you do consume strong smelling food and drink, rinsing with a mouthwash will help neutralise the odours, also chewing gum will help with any unpleasant smell. Brushing straight after eating is not advised as the PH in the mouth turns more acidic after eating which softens the enamel so brushing will have a detrimental effect on the enamel.
Smoking is another contributing factor to bad breath for a couple of reasons, it will make your mouth have an unpleasant ‘smoke ash’ odour, smoking also increases your risk of gum disease which in turn harbours bad bacteria in your mouth which releases foul smelling odours. Smoking also lessens your taste sensitivity so in turn you eat stronger tasting foods which as discussed previously creates bad breath.
Stopping smoking is the first and foremost route of prevention in this cause of bad breath, your GP can help you and so can your dentist in giving you smoking cessation advice. If you do smoke then chewing gum or rinsing with a mouth wash will help neutralise any foul smells of smoke, mouthwashes that contain chlorhexidine can stain the teeth so if you are a heavy smoker this method isn’t recommended as frequently.
Diets, whilst certain types of food can cause bad breath, not enough of certain foods, such as carbohydrates, can also be a problem to. When people crash diet or fast their body starts to break down stored fat, this produces a chemical called Ketone which releases an odour that can be smelt through the mouth.
Sticking to a healthy diet and lifestyle will eradicate this problem, eat a varied diet that contains all the essential food groups the body needs to function. Brushing and flossing regularly will also help.
Certain types of Medication can cause halitosis, these types are:·
- Medication for the treatment of angina, a condition that causes pain in the suffers chest due to a problem in the blood supply to the heart. The medication that is sometimes used to treat this condition that can cause the halitosis are called nitrates.
- Some chemotherapy medications.
- Tranquilizers also known as phenothiazine.
If you suffer from halitosis as a result of a medication you are prescribed then speak to your GP about an alternative, if there isn’t then best treatment in these cases would be to maintain a good oral hygiene or brushing and flossing regularly and chewing gum after meals when brushing immediately isn’t advised.
Some medical conditions can also be a contributing factor in bad breath. People that suffer from xerostomia (dry mouth), a condition that causes problems in the production of saliva, can lead to bacteria building up in the mouth thus causing bad breath. This can be diagnosed by your dentist and there are many mouthwashes created specifically for people with dry mouth to help prevent bad odours.
Gastrointestinal problems such as bacterial infection of the stomach or intestines and acid reflux have all been linked to bad breath. These would have to be diagnosed by you GP referring you to a specialist, again treatment is just to maintain a good oral hygiene to prevent the build-up of bacteria.
Other medical conditions linked to bad breath are bronchiectasis, bronchitis and sinusitis. These would have to be treated by your GP but brushing and flossing regularly will ensure bad breath is kept at a minimum. People who suffer from diabetes are at higher risk of having gum disease a cause of bad breath so people who have diabetes must be extra vigilant with their oral hygiene routine.
If you are worried you suffer from Halitosis then you can make an appointment with a dentist by calling 01923 254979, they will be able to help diagnose the cause of the problem and therefore help in treatment and prevention by giving you oral health advice.
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