Whilst not exactly taboo, the topic of bad breath is not usually openly discussed. It is however, an issue that we dentists take very seriously.
Bad breath (or Halitosis) is very common and is estimated to affect one in four of the UK population. The most common cause of this condition is when food caught in the mouth is broken down by bacteria, producing an unpleasant-smelling gas.
To avoid breath odour we strongly advocate good oral care disciplines. Brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste, cleaning between your teeth regularly and using an anti-bacterial mouthwash will all help maintain fresh breath. As you would expect, smoking, eating strongly flavoured foods and drinking alcohol will all have a negative effect on how your breath smells.
There are other causes of bad breath, such as gum disease and infection or illness that require professional treatment, so it’s very worthwhile having a chat to your dentist or hygienist. They will be able to give you information on oral care routines and diet and if necessary, advise you should further investigation be required.
Please don’t be embarrassed about discussing this issue with your dental professional – we’re here to help.