Bad breath – causes, oral treatment and prevention

Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, is an embarrassing oral health condition that affects three in 10 people worldwide. The most common symptom is a foul smell associated with the mouth, throat or tonsils. Bad breath is experienced by people at one time or another in their lifetime, but if it doesn’t improve after brushing and flossing the mouth, then it may be a permanent problem.

At Harley Street Dental Clinic we understand that bad breath can cause many problems, but besides the obvious social implications, it may be indicative of serious dental issues. If you are aware that your breath is not as fresh as you would like it to be, you should make an appointment with our W1 dentist for a thorough check-up.

Dentist in Harley StreetCommon causes of halitosis

Bad breath can be caused by many reasons. Most frequently, it is the result of poor oral hygiene. When we fail to clean our teeth after eating, bacteria tend to concentrate on the teeth, the tongue or the gums, gradually releasing a sulphur compound that gives your breath an unpleasant odour. Along with this, certain foods such as garlic and onions can contribute to bad breath. This is because once they are absorbed into our body, they are transferred to the lungs, where they are exhaled. Finally, dieters sometimes have bad breath because of abstaining from certain food categories.

However, food is not the only cause of bad breath. Gum disease is often to blame for bad breath, especially if you cannot get rid of it, no matter how much you brush. Bad breath may also be a sign that you have a serious health problem, such as a respiratory tract infection, chronic sinusitis or diabetes.

Treating halitosis

If you suffer from halitosis our W1 dentist can help you determine the causes behind the symptoms and alleviate them. Your dentist will determine whether bad breath is caused by poor oral hygiene or gum disease. If you suffer from gum disease, they will clean your gums thoroughly to remove bacteria and plaque and recommend a special mouthwash to keep bacteria at bay. Your W1 dentist will also recommend changes to your diet and lifestyle. You will be advised to quit smoking, eat more fruit and vegetables and brush and floss your teeth daily.