9 months ago
Bad breath or halitosis is a fairly common affliction. An estimated 1 in 4 people suffer from it at any given time. In most cases, it is merely caused by poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss your teeth regularly, then food particles can remain in your mouth. This promotes the growth of bacteria in the oral cavity especially between the teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. The bacteria when combined with saliva results in the release of foul smelling gases. The hard to reach the rear part of the tongue in particular is a fertile breeding ground for these bacteria. Often, it is here where embarrassingly intense bad breath emanates.
Too much smoking, too much drinking of coffee or liquor, or too much eating of certain very pungent food can also make your breath stink. In this case, the affliction is temporary and entirely avoidable. Quitting smoking, reducing your coffee and alcohol consumption and cutting back on your intake of very spicy foods, assuming you are observing proper oral hygiene, will put an end to the condition. On the other hand, bad breath can also come about from undergoing fasting and certain radical dieting that deprives the body of carbohydrates and forces it to break down fats and fatty acids to use as fuel in their stead. The process results in abnormal ketone production, which can make the breath smell. In this case, the condition is also temporary and will stop once you return to your normal healthy eating habits, assuming you continue to observe proper oral hygiene.
In less frequent cases, bad breath can be a sign of infections, lesions or ulceration in the mouth, gums, tongue, nose, throat, or stomach or a symptom of an underlying non-oral medical condition like liver or renal failure, diabetes, carcinoma, or some forms of respiratory tract diseases. It can also be an effect of taking certain medications like phenothiazines, nitrates and those used in chemotherapy. In both instances, addressing first the underlying cause of the bad breath should necessarily take precedence.
Normally, you can avoid having bad breath by brushing and flossing your teeth to get rid of food particles left following a meal. Also, you would do well to clean your tongue regularly to scrape off the plaque-causing sticky coating at least before going to bed. Frequent gargling with water or antiseptic mouthwash freshens your breath and prevents bacteria and plaque from building up. Chewing sugarless gum also helps since it stimulates saliva production. In addition, oral health experts recommend that you keep to a healthy diet, stop smoking, drink plenty of water and minimise your alcohol and coffee intake. They also strongly advise that you get your teeth professionally cleaned along with your regular twice-a-year dental check-ups.
At Oatlands Dental Lounge, as part of our preventive dentistry treatment service, we undertake comprehensive examinations using advanced techniques and diagnostic technologies to determine the preventive measures that will best protect your teeth and gums, and of course keep you bad breath-free. At a typical professional dental cleaning session, our dentist or hygienist will clean those areas inside your mouth that are difficult to reach on your own and will remove plaque and the hard deposits of tartar that have built up on the teeth. We will also provide you with a home care regimen and a diet guidance and awareness plan that will help you on your own maintain good oral health, and prevent bad breath while you are in between regular checkups.
BDS (Hons.) MJDF RCS (Eng), MClinDent (FRP Lond) FICOI, MSc (Dental Implantology)
BDS (Lond) MJDF RCS (Eng)