Bad breath can also be caused by some medical problems. ‘Dry mouth’ (xerostomia) is a condition that means your mouth produces less saliva. This causes bacteria to build up in your mouth and this leads to bad breath. Dry mouth may be caused by some medicines, by salivary gland problems or by continually breathing through your mouth instead of your nose. Older people may produce less saliva, causing further problems.
If you suffer from dry mouth, our dental team may be able to recommend or prescribe an artificial saliva product. Or they may be able to suggest other ways of dealing with the problem.
Other medical conditions that cause bad breath include infections in the throat, nose or lungs; sinusitis; bronchitis; diabetes; or liver or kidney problems. If your dentist finds that your mouth is healthy, you may be referred to your family GP or a specialist to find out the cause of your bad breath.
Yes. Tobacco causes its own type of bad breath. The only answer in this case is to stop smoking. As well as making your breath smell, smoking causes staining and loss of taste, and irritates the gums. People who smoke are more likely to suffer from gum disease and also have a greater risk of developing cancer of the mouth, lung cancer and heart disease. Ask your dentist, pharmacist or healthcare professional for help with stopping smoking. If you do stop smoking, but still have bad breath, then you need to see your dental team or doctor for advice.
If you do have bad breath, you will need to start a routine for keeping your mouth clean and fresh. Regular check-ups will allow your dentist to watch out for any places where plaque is caught between your teeth. Your dental team will be able to clean all those areas that are difficult to reach. They will also be able to show you the best way to clean your teeth and gums, and show you any areas you may be missing, including your tongue.
To keep your breath fresh, you must get rid of any gum disease, and keep your mouth clean and fresh. If you do have bad breath, try keeping a diary of all the foods you eat and list any medicines you are taking. Take this diary to your dentist, who may be able to suggest ways to solve the problem.
Brush your teeth and gums last thing at night and at least one other time during the day, with a fluoride toothpaste. Don’t forget to brush your tongue as well, or use a tongue scraper. Cut down on how often you have sugary food and drinks.
Visit the Dentists at Smile Solutions regularly, as often as they recommend.
Clean in between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes or floss at least once a day – brushing alone only cleans up to about 60 percent of the surface of your teeth. There are other products you can buy to clean between your teeth.
Use a mouthwash – some contain antibacterial agents that could kill bacteria that make your breath smell unpleasant.
If you continue to suffer from bad breath visit the Dentists at Smile Solutions to make sure that the mouthwash is not covering up a more serious underlying problem. Chew sugar-free gum – it helps your mouth produce saliva and stops it drying out. A dry mouth can lead to bad breath.