Bad breath, also called halitosis, can be unpleasant, embarrassing and in some cases may even cause anxiety. You might not even notice it yourself. In this article, we will talk about some of the main symptoms and how to prevent bad breath.

Whether you feel you have a problem with bad breath that you want to address, or you want to avoid having it, there are various actions you can take to prevent it. Bad breath can be the result of a number of different problems, from poor oral hygiene to having dry mouth. It is important to get to the root cause of the issue so a permanent solution can be found.

Here are some top tips to consider:

Watch What You Eat

It’s no secret that eating some foods will contribute to bad breath, especially if you’re going to eat lots of onions, garlic or spices. If there are some foods that you are aware of which give you bad breath, you can try to avoid them.

But you might not want to stop eating them altogether! Brushing your teeth immediately afterwards can help.

Keep Up Good Oral Hygiene

One of the most important things to do if you want to prevent bad breath is to look after your oral hygiene. Clean teeth and a clean mouth will help to prevent odours lingering from food particles and plaque. It will also keep your teeth healthy, which will prevent cavities which could also contribute to bad breath.

If you don’t make a regular effort to keep your mouth clean, food particles will remain in your mouth eventually forming a colourless, sticky film of bacteria on your teeth, known as plaque. If this plaque is not brushed away, it can irritate your gums and eventually form plaque-filled pockets between your teeth and gums, known as periodontitis.

Brushing your teeth at least twice a day, as well as using interdental brushes, will help you to maintain good oral hygiene. Your tongue also can trap bacteria that produce odours, so do make sure you give that a brush too. Having your teeth cleaned by a dentist or dental hygienist every 6 months is also a good idea.

Stop Smoking

Smoking, or using other tobacco products, can make your breath smell. If you smoke or use oral tobacco products, you have a higher chance of developing gum disease, which can also cause bad breath.

Quitting can be tough, but it delivers a variety of health benefits. As well as helping to improve your oral hygiene and lowering the risk of gum disease, you can reduce your risk of cancer, improve your circulation, and much more.

Dry Mouth

Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, removing particles that cause bad odours. A condition called dry mouth or xerostomia can contribute to bad breath because the production of saliva is decreased.

Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep, leading to “morning breath” and it worsens if you sleep with your mouth open. Chronic dry mouth can be caused by a problem with your salivary glands and some diseases.

If you think you may be affected by chronic dry mouth, then you should speak to a dentist or doctor to see if you have any underlying health conditions.

Stay Hydrated

Having a dry mouth in general, can also cause your breath to smell bad. You probably notice this when you wake up in the morning or if you haven’t had enough to drink during the day. Staying hydrated throughout the day is important, not just for your oral hygiene, but for brain function and your health in general.

Other Mouth, Nose & Throat Conditions

Bad breath can also occur from small stones that form in the tonsils that are covered with bacteria. Infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat, which can contribute to postnasal drip, can also cause bad breath.

Diseases, such as some cancers, can cause bad breath as a result of chemicals they produce. Chronic reflux of stomach acids (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) can also be associated with bad breath. If you have any concerns about possible mouth, nose or throat conditions, do book an appointment with your doctor.

See Your Dentist

If you believe you have bad breath but not sure why, or you’re concerned about bad breath in general, seeing a dentist is always a smart move.

If you are based in the Plymouth, Devon area, then give The Mead Dental Practice a call today on 01752 224880 to book a routine examination where we can diagnose and treat any problem, from cavities to infections and gum disease.