Bad Breath (Halitosis) – Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Halitosis or bad breath, is a condition in which a person has an unattractive odour from their mouth.
This can be from the everyday “morning breath” most people wake up with, to the five minutes of bad breath you’ll experience after eating the occasional pungent foods like onions or garlic.
If you are among the unlucky people who suffer from bad breath, you know the awkwardness and embarrassment that halitosis can cause.

Causes Of Bad breath:

  • Certain foods, such as onions, garlic and spices can cause bad breath.
  • Smoking can cause an unpleasant mouth odor and can lead to gum disease, which also causes bad breath.
  • Poor dental hygiene causes food particles to remain in your mouth, causing bad breath.
  • Dry mouth can contribute to bad breath because the production of cleansing saliva is decreased:
    • Dry mouth occurs naturally during sleep, causing “morning breath,” and it worsens if you breathe through your mouth.
    • Some medications have dry mouth as a side-effect, producing bad breath as a result. Others are broken down in the body and release chemicals that are carried on your breath.
  • Tooth decay, gum infection, and other infections in the mouth, nose and throat can contribute to bad breath.
  • Diseases in the body can cause bad breath as a result of the chemicals they produce.
  • Chronic reflux of stomach acids can be associated with bad breath.

Solutions to get rid of bad breath and boost confidence

Practice good oral care at home:

  • Brushing twice a day and flossing regularly will avoid dental health issues.
  • Change your toothbrush regularly: Bacteria can build up in a toothbrush and contribute to bad breath
  • Scrape your tongue: The bacteria that coat your tongue are a big contributor to bad breath. To remove this smelly bacteria, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush.
For an even more thorough cleaning, invest in a tongue scraper.
If you have a denture, partial denture, or any other removable dental appliance, make sure you take it out and clean it according to your Dentists instruction!
  • Keep your mouth moist: Keeping well hydrated can improve your oral health immediately.
  • Avoid Smoking: In addition to increasing your risk for cancer, smoking also damages gums, stains teeth and gives you bad breath.
  • Avoid over the counter mouthwashes for everyday use:
Although effective temporarily to treat infections and bad breath, alcohol and strong chemicals in most mouthwashes dry out the mouth, which exacerbates bad breath.
Saliva maintains a healthy pH in the mouth and ensures that certain types of bacteria don’t propagate.
The population ratio of the good and bad bugs must be maintained (normal flora) and the pH inside the mouth is crucial for this state to be maintained.
Chemical mouthwashes are indiscriminate in which bacteria they kill, adversely affecting this important ratio and allowing bad breath causing bacteria to proliferate.
Oil pulling and warm salt water rinses with few drops of essential oils like clove, cinnamon and peppermint used 2-3 times a week can help reduce bad breath without the above adverse effects.

Diet for a healthy mouth:

Eat fruit and vegetables: Chomping on a crispy apple, carrot, or stick of celery can boost saliva and reduce bad breath by washing away bacteria from teeth, gums, and tongue.
  • Avoid eating too many sugary foods and drinks, which encourage bacterial growth in the mouth, and are also a cause of tooth decay.
  • Avoid foods that are known to cause bad breath, like onions and garlic.
  • Herbal home remedies include chewing and freshening your mouth with lemon or orange rind, cloves, fennel seeds, aniseed or mint.
  • Taking probiotics  everyday will help maintain good gut health.

Visit your Dentist:

If your bad breath remains despite taking the advice above, schedule a dental appointment at Smile Place Dental.
If you have tooth decay, gum disease, chronic dry mouth, poor oral habits or any other underlying issue, we can help. 
We can also help diagnose if your halitosis is the result of an internal source and direct you towards appropriate treatment.

How To Brush Your Teeth

Everyone craves a beautiful smile. White Shiny teeth make your smile attractive. Most of us don’t give our teeth the attention they need. We even brush teeth the wrong way. Failing to brush properly builds up plaque which may lead to gum disease. Use this step-by-step guide to find out how to properly brush your teeth.

1. Put the toothbrush against your teeth, tilting the brush to 45 degrees against the gum line. Brush in small circular movements on all the surfaces of each mouth.

2. Brush the outer areas of each tooth, both upper and lower. Keep the bristles against the gum line.

3. Brush the inner areas of each tooth, both upper and lower. Keep the bristles against the gum line.

4. Brush the surface of the teeth that you use for biting.

5. Brush your tongue to help remove bacteria and prevent bad breath.

Follow all the 5 steps and you will have a fresh breath and clean mouth in no time!

How To Floss Your Teeth

We know we should floss atleast once a day, but not everyone knows the right way to do it.

1. Pull about 45cm of dental floss from the dispenser and wind most of the floss around each middle finger, leaving an inch or two of floss to work with.

2. Holding the floss tautly between your thumbs and index fingers, slide it gently up -and-down between your teeth.

3. Move the floss back and forth in a push-pull motion, up and down against the side of each tooth.

4.Gently curve the floss around the base of each tooth, making sure you go to the gum line.

teeth whitening after care

Teeth Whitening Aftercare

After having an in chair whitening session there are some do’s and don’ts to optimise the benefits of your whitening treatment.

Do’s

  • Brush and floss regularly. Maintaining your standard dental routines will help you keep your teeth looking shiny and clean for weeks after the treatment.
  • Be patient as teeth whitening procedures continue to work even after you have left our surgery.
  • Drink beverages using s straw. This reduces the amount of fluid that has contact with the front surfaces of your teeth.
  • Use the provided at home whitening kit for maintenance. This is a convenient and easy way to maintain your bright smile.
  • Use the Tooth Mousse provided if you experience sensitivity.
  • Rinse after each meal. This helps to remove food particles from the mouth and gives you fresher breath. If you choose to use a mouth rinse, look for one with teeth whitening properties.

Maintaining a healthy smile after your teeth whitening procedure will help make the most of your session and keep your teeth looking great for longer. This can be done by being consistent with your dental hygiene routine, regular visits to your dentist, eating the right types of foods and avoiding dark coloured beverages.

Don’ts

  • Don’t wear lipstick immediately after the teeth whitening session as it can stain the teeth and leave behind a residue.
  • Don’t drink red wine, tea or coffee immediately after you have your teeth whitened.
  • Both of these can stain your teeth. Avoid any dark coloured beverages as often as possible to prevent staining.
  • Don’t eat dark coloured foods for a few weeks after your treatment. These foods include, beetroot, tomato based sauces, soy sauce, curries, dark berries,
  • Don’t smoke
  • Don’t use your at home bleaching kit until 2 weeks after your in chair treatment.

 

A general rule of thumb is to remember if it would stain a white t-shirt; it may stain your teeth.