Halitosis explained by our dentist

Halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath, can be embarrassing to deal with and have a negative impact on your social life. It can be caused by a variety of factors and a combination of poor dental hygiene and bad dietary habits. In most cases, halitosis is entirely preventable, and it is manageable through improving your oral hygiene and a trip to our dentist in Canary Wharf.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is caused by a range of possible factors.

Poor dental hygiene may be the largest contributing factor to bad breath; when you do not brush and floss your teeth thoroughly, food particles are able to reside in the crevasses of your teeth and gums causing bad breath. Additionally, this gives way to bacteria building up on your tongue and getting trapped.

Food particles in and around your teeth break down, increasing the amount of bacteria in your mouth thus causing an odour to develop. Specific types of foods can increase your chances of developing bad breath such as onions, garlic and spices. When these foods are digested, the particles enter your bloodstream and travel to your lungs thereby affecting the odour of the breath you exhale.

Smoking products containing tobacco also cause bad breath by contributing to gum disease and infections within the mouth. It is important to note that this is not limited to simply smoking, but even chewing on tobacco can have the same effect.

Dry mouth is also a reason you may be suffering with bad breath; saliva helps to clean the mouth of food particles and bacteria, however if you suffer with a dry mouth, you may not be secreting a sufficient amount of saliva which in turn causes your breath to smell. This is commonly seen in the morning after you wake up as your mouth does not produce as much saliva when you are asleep, and the odour becomes more pungent if you sleep with your mouth open. Sometimes, dry mouth can be caused by underlying factors such as a disease or there being an issue with your salivary glands so it is best to discuss this with our dentist in Canary Wharf so that they can assess what the cause is.

Sometimes, the side effects of certain medications can cause your breath to smell bad by causing your mouth to become dry. There are also a few drugs that break down in your body and release chemicals which are carried to your lungs, thereby causing you to exhale bad odours. If you do suffer with dry mouth symptoms as a result of taking certain medications, our dentist in Canary Wharf can prescribe you saliva stimulating tablets which you can suck.

How to treat bad breath

In order to reduce bad breath it is important to always practise good oral hygiene, however if you feel as though you are taking good care of your teeth and gums and are still suffering with bad odours, it may be that you require further treatment depending on the cause. Our dentist at Align and Smile can recommend a variety of treatments such as toothpastes containing antibacterial agents to kill bacteria that cause the build up of plaque or they can carry out a thorough clean of your teeth and gums to remove bacteria that may be causing the bad odours.

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Docklands Dental Referral Centre is the trading name of Dr Sabena Bhuiyan.