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Oatland Dental Lounge
Oatlands Dental Lounge, 127a Oatlands Drive,
1st Floor Alfred House Weybridge, Surrey, KT13 9LB
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Why do I have bad breath?
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3 months ago

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a condition that afflicts one out of four people, and occurs to anyone at any age. Even if it’s a common occurrence, it’s still an unpleasant condition. Bad breath is usually caused by inadequate and poor oral hygiene. If you do not regularly practice proper oral hygiene, bacteria continue to build up in your mouth and cause your breath to smell bad. That’s because food particles that remain in your mouth and are trapped in between your teeth rot over time. Bacteria break down these food particles and as it does so, an unpleasant smelling gas is released.

There are various factors that cause bad breath. Mild cases of bad breath are typically caused by the following:

  • Eating food with strong flavours such as garlic, onions, and spices
  • Drinking beverages such as coffee, fizzy drinks, and alcohol
  • Taking certain types of medication
  • Smoking

Bad breath in these cases is normal and doesn’t need any kind of medical treatment. So is waking up in the morning with bad breath. In some cases, bad breath occurs after an illness or infection. There is no cause to worry since this is also temporary. However, persistent bad breath is an extremely unpleasant condition. It can definitely be a cause of embarrassment or low self-esteem for some. Some individuals with persistent bad breath may not know they have it or get used to it over time, which makes serious cases quite difficult to identify. And some only become aware of it due to the reactions of other people. In some cases of persistent bad breath, it can be a sign of gum disease.

There’s a simple test to find out if your breath smells bad. Try to lick the inside of your wrist with the back of your tongue. Wait for a few seconds for the saliva to dry, and then smell your wrist. If your wrist smells bad, it’s more likely that your breath smells bad too.

To cure and prevent bad breath, it’s important to be committed in improving your overall oral and dental hygiene. Start by brushing, flossing, using mouth wash, and cleaning your tongue twice a day, and drinking lots of water. If bad breath still persists even after improving your dental and oral hygiene, it’s best to consult your GP. Your bad breath may be caused by an underlying medical problem that can only be determined after further examination.

To find out if you have a serious case of bad breath, look for the following signs:

  • A burning sensation in the mouth
  • An abundance of plaque
  • Difficulty in swallowing and speaking
  • Dryness of the mouth
  • Mouth infections (includes loose teeth, pus between the teeth, sores, and swollen gums)
  • Respiratory infections or other serious medical conditions like diabetes and kidney, liver, or lung problems

It’s also helpful to ask a friend or family member for their honest opinion. You can also go straight to your dentist or hygienist and ask for their diagnosis.

Dr Neil Paryani

BDS (Hons.) MJDF RCS (Eng), MClinDent (FRP Lond) FICOI, MSc (Dental Implantology)

Dr Poonam Paryani

BDS (Lond) MJDF RCS (Eng)

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