If you’ve ever had the misfortune to catch a whiff of someone else’s bad breath, you may have wondered if your own breath is really as fresh as you think.
Lots of us wake up with morning breath – a less-than-fresh feeling in the mouth that usually disappears quickly after the day’s first brush.
But when bad breath keeps coming back it can be a significant drain on confidence. So what causes bad breath? And more importantly, what can be done about it?
Let’s take a look.
The number one cause of bad breath – also known as halitosis – is an excess of bacteria inside the mouth. This can be caused by remnants of food, sugary saliva or poor brushing routine. Each of these gives smelly bacteria a source of food and creates the ideal conditions for the bacteria to multiply.
A second major cause of halitosis is gum disease. This usually begins with swollen or painful gums and can lead to tooth loss and jaw bone deterioration.
It’s caused when the smelly bacteria mentioned earlier find their way into the microscopic crevices and pockets inside the gums. Once established there, they can be extremely difficult to remove, even by a dental professional.
There are plenty of ways to combat bad breath.
It goes witrhout saying that regular brushing is a must. And this should be accompanied by flossing and a mouthwash rinse – both of which will prevent bacteria from building up in significant numbers.
If things have progressed to the point of gum disease, treatment can be challenging. Depending on the severity of gum disease, dentists may talk about managing the condition rather than curing it altogether. Treatment may include scaling and root planing to get rid of excess plaque, or a course of antibiotics to fight infection.
Without doubt, the best cure for bad breath is prevention. However, if you suffer then it could be time to speak to a dentist about designing a plan to get you feeling fresh and confident again.