Halitosis or bad breath might be a light-hearted topic for some but for others it causes misery. We’re all prone to bad breath at some time or another – in fact, it’s thought one in four of us has it! But chronic bad breath can be a problem, especially if you’re looking for love this February 14th.
Do I have bad breath?
Few people like to have to tell someone they have bad breath, so you can’t rely on this as a method to find out. A simple trick is to cup your hand over your mouth and exhale; or lick the back of your hand and wait for it to dry. Notice anything off-putting?
What causes bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by a number of things, including the food and drink we consume (think garlic, onions and coffee) and our lifestyle choices (smoking and drinking). But it is also caused by poor dental hygiene in others. Bacteria builds up in the mouth and, if not regularly removed, can prey on food particles and release smelly gases.
Bad breath can even be caused by conditions like sinusitis and acid reflux – if you suspect this to be the case, speak to your GP as well as your dentist.
How do I treat bad breath?
In order to treat bad breath effectively, knowing what causes it is a start. But you might need to monitor the situation over a period of time by making various changes to your diet, lifestyle and dental hygiene.
If you have bad breath, we recommend getting a dentist’s opinion first and foremost. They’ll be able to rule out whether your halitosis is down to poor dental hygiene or an underlying dental issue such as gum disease or a tooth infection.
6 tips to treat bad breath
If your bad breath is caused by lifestyle or your body’s natural makeup, here are some tips to try and curb it:
- Drink water regularly, especially after you eat. This will help clean food particles, sugars and bacteria from your mouth and keep your mouth hydrated.
- Brush your teeth and gums twice a day and your tongue once a day.
- Rinse with alcohol-free mouthwash after you eat; alcohol dries the mouth causing bacteria to grow, which is a bad breath trigger.
- Chew sugar-free gum – especially if you’re just about to meet a date!
- Floss every day to remove trapped food and plaque lodged between teeth, which is a breeding ground for bacteria.
- Limit your alcohol and coffee intake and restrict how often you use strongly smelling ingredients in your meals.
Don’t let bad breath hold you back in your quest for love in Notting Hill this Valentine’s Day. Book an appointment with our dental hygienist at Number 18 Dental today and you’ll be whispering sweet nothings!