Bad breath? Here’s our advice on how to stop the smell.

July 28, 2016

Most of us will experience bad breath (halitosis) at some point, whether it’s our own or somebody else’s. People often want to know what’s causing their bad breath and how they can improve it, so we’ve put together a few hints and tips to help you stop the stink.

Diet

It makes sense that what we put into our mouths affects the way it smells. If you’re eating a lot of smelly cheeses, garlic and spices, then guess what, you’ll probably smell of them. Food and drinks that makes you belch a lot can also be a cause of bad breath. Overall strong smelling food and drink is going to have an effect on the way your breath smells, the best way to help minimise the effects of strong smelling food and drink is to change what you eat, or to use mouthwash approximately half an hour after eating or using breath fresheners.

Bacteria

In most cases bad breath is caused by the build-up of bacteria in your mouth. Bacteria can build up when you don’t brush your teeth properly, become dehydrated or have a dry mouth. Bacteria can build up on your teeth, under your gums and on your tongue.

Halitosis can also occur when teeth are not cleaned properly. Food particles left in the mouth begin to go stale and rot, releasing unpleasant smells. Tooth decay is another large factor affecting the way your breath smells, as cavities harbour bacteria which release bad smelling toxins.

Gum disease has the worst smell of all, in our opinion, and this is where the bacteria collect under the inflamed gums and gives off a rancid smell that can be smelt from a few metres away!

Bad breath also can be caused by bacteria anywhere in your air and digestive passages, for example in with sore throats and inflamed tonsils, sinusitis, stomach ulcers and even more serious diseases. So if in doubt, go and see your doctor.

 

So what’s the best way to reduce bad breath?

The best thing you can do to reduce keep your breath smelling fresh is to maintain a good oral hygiene routine. This means brushing your teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and using a range of interdental cleaning methods, such as floss and interdental brushes.

You could also consider using a tongue scraper. Simply hold the tongue scraper at the back of your tongue and bring it forward, scraping gently but firmly against your tongue as you do.

It also helps to make sure you keep your toothbrush fresh by replacing it every 3 to 4 months, cleaning it with tap water after use and storing it in an upright position to let it air dry.

There are several things you can do throughout the day to maintain fresh breath, such as topping up your oral care with mouthwash, taking a toothbrush to work in case you need to brush your teeth after lunch, and drinking plenty of water to minimize the number of bacteria in your mouth. Chewing sugarless gum can also help as it stimulates saliva production.

Visit your dentist or hygienist for an oral hygiene check and they can treat any gum disease and give you the best advice on how to improve your oral hygiene routine and keep on top of bad breath!