Q. How can I combat bad breath?
A. Bad breath is one of the most common oral health problems and there can be many reasons for it. The bacteria coating the inside of your mouth release gases that are odorous. Sometimes, the smell can be caused by rotting food which is stuck in between your teeth and on your tongue.
This can be made worse if you have consumed something particularly strong-smelling such as onions, garlic or coffee. Consistent bad breath can be one of the first signs that you may have gum disease. Bad breath can also be medically related.
Xerostomia, otherwise known as “dry mouth” is where your mouth cannot produce enough saliva. This means that bacteria buildup in the mouth is causing bad breath. It can also be caused by infections in the nose, throat, lungs or even liver or kidney problems. One way to test for bad breath is to lick the inside of your wrist
and smell it.
If it smells bad, this should indicate that your breath does, too. Brush your teeth regularly last thing at night and on at least one other occasion every day. Use fluoride toothpaste and brush your tongue to get rid of lingering food bits. You should also clean in between your teeth using floss or an interdental brush at least once a day. Visit your dentist regularly so that they can spot any issues early on.
If your mouth is found to be healthy by the dentist, you might be referred to your GP or a specialist to find the root cause of your bad breath.