Bad Breath (Halitosis) and What to Do About It

It can be embarrassing to have bad breath. But it’s a condition that nearly everyone experiences at some point in their lives. 

There are lots of things that can cause occasional bad breath. Eating foods that contain garlic and onion, drinking coffee or alcohol, and smoking can lead to malodorous breath, especially if your oral hygiene isn’t up to scratch.

But did you know that persistent bad breath can also be indicative of serious oral health problems? Bad breath (also termed “halitosis”) can be caused by periodontal disease (gum disease) or tooth decay.

Halitosis can also be a sign of serious general health conditions unrelated to the teeth. These may include stomach problems, lung diseases, and nasal infections, 

What to Do if You Have Bad Breath

There are two things that you can do if you have bad breath.

Start With Prevention

You’re less likely to experience bad breath if you:

  • Avoid triggers of bad breath (such as garlic, alcohol, and tobacco).
  • Increase fresh vegetable/fruit intake.
  • Pay attention to your oral hygiene. Be sure to brush well every morning and night, and clean between your teeth every day using floss or floss alternative(s).
  • Keep your tongue clean. That’s because bacteria often accumulate on the rough surfaces of the tongue
  • Stay well hydrated
  • Visit your dentist regularly to have any gum infections and/or dental decay managed

Keep in mind that breath mints and mouthwash may temporarily mask the odour of halitosis but do not eliminate it.

Seek Help 

If you notice your bad breath worsening, or if it persists, visit your dentist for help. 

Your dentist will: 

  • Examine your teeth and mouth to see if there is a dental cause.
  • Treat any dental conditions that are contributing to your halitosis.
  • Refer you to a medical practitioner if they suspect the cause is a health issue.

Please feel free to get in touch with us if you are experiencing bad breath. We would be pleased to be of assistance.