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Bad Breath / Halitosis

January 13th, 2012

What is it?

Bad breath is generally not a sign of ill health, it is usually caused by bacteria in the mouth.

Although PERIODONTAL DISEASE (gum disease) can cause bad breath it is possible to still have bad breath with good oral hygiene and healthy teeth and gums. The origin of the smell could be from the back of the tongue. A dry mouth will also affect mouth smells.

A dry mouth can also occur if you breathe through your mouth or due to any medication you might be taking.

What can my dentist do?

Before seeing your dentist do not do anything to mask the normal smell of your mouth (e.g. do not smoke, chew gum or clean your teeth immediately before your appointment).

Good oral hygiene will normally be the answer to the problem of bad breath. Regular scale and polishes by the dentist /hygienist will make it easier for you to maintain a good standard of oral hygiene.

What can I do myself?

  • Good oral hygiene – brush thoroughly at least twice a day (morning and night).
  • Use floss or other oral hygiene aids e.g. Tepe brushes, interspace brush if recommended by your dentist.
  • Brush your tongue. Special tongue scrapers can be bought from the chemist or your dentist.

It is possible to check for bad breath by smelling the floss after using it. If there is a smell from a particular area, then clean it with special care and attention.

  • If a mouth is dry then it will smell, try chewing sugar-free gum as this will increase the flow of saliva.
  • If you smoke, try to give up. It will improve not only your general health but will also keep your mouth and gums healthy.