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Halitosis (Bad Breath)

Bad breath is an awkward problem affecting millions of people around the world.

To combat it, many people use mint, gum, sprays and mouthwash.

In fact, people spend a lot of money every year on these products - although they only offer a temporary solution to the problem.

Getting rid of bad smells in a permanent way requires more work and investigation by the dentist to find out the cause of this problem.

Bad breath can affect anyone temporarily - e.g. "morning breath" or your mouth smell after eating onions or drinking coffee

So it is important to know the cause of the problem, to look for a cure and a lasting solution to the problem.

Causes of bad breath:

Most often, bad breath arises from trapped food particles that are then treated by oral bacteria.

The most common place for bad breath is the back of the tongue.

This is because it is the best place where large amounts of bacteria multiply and are naturally present on leftovers, dead skin cells and drip after the nose (mucus comes down the throat from the nose).

The waste of these bacteria includes volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs), which have a bad smell similar to that of rotten eggs.

Other places where bacteria and food molecules can be trapped are between teeth, under gums, in oral devices or dentures. Poor oral hygiene paves the way for these problems, as well as tooth decay and gum disease, which can also cause unpleasant odors.

Other health conditions and habits can affect your breath. Mouth odor may occur in people with sinus infection or trachea, oral yeast infection (which can be caused by the use of antibiotics), or even systemic disease such as diabetes, kidney failure or liver dysfunction.

Chronic oral dryness, which is often a side effect of some drugs, and tobacco use can contribute to this problem. Even psychological stress, diet and hormonal changes can affect your breath.

How a dentist can help you

Since bad breath often arises in the mouth, the dental clinic is the best place to start your quest for consistently better mouth odor but after a thorough examination, any of the following may be recommended:

1. Oral hygiene instructions.

Maybe you can take advantage of a demonstration of how to brush and floss more effectively Or how to better clean dentures. The doctor can also guide you on how to use a tongue scraper to clean the back of your tongue if necessary.

2. Professional teeth cleaning.

Food particles, bacteria and calcified deposits can become trapped where you cannot access them - but special dental tools can. Regular professional cleaning processes are a great way to promote oral health in general and particularly bad breath.

3. Treatment of tooth decay.

Bad breath may be caused by large open cavities (decay) to be treated, or defective old fillings that need to be modified.

4. Treatment of gum disease.

More advanced forms of gum disease cause the gums to separate from the teeth, forming pockets in which bacteria can grow. If you suffer from gum disease, you may need gum treatment, which can include deep cleaning of your tooth roots, antibiotics and, in advanced cases, gum surgery.

5. Treatment of infection (odorless disease).

An infection that does not arise in your mouth needs to be treated by the right medical professional. Whatever the cause of bad breath, we're here to make sure you get the right treatment you need.