The Devil may care (yet your friends probably do…)

Many sufferers of bad breath often find the problem can arise time and time again without any clear reason. Like with other dental issues, halitosis can make life that little bit more difficult and cause a loss of self-esteem and confidence.

There are many mini-cures for bad breath on the market, just google it and you’ll find a huge number of solutions ranging from mouthwashes to chewing herbs.

Although there is no instant cure (some products will have you believe this) a specialist dentist will help to identify the root of the cause and provide an effective treatment.

Causes and Cures

Bad breath can originate from the mouth, sinuses, nose and stomach and is predominantly a result of bacteria that are referred to as ‘anaerobes’. Anaerobic bacteria are those bacteria that dislike the presence of oxygen and tend to reside in sites of the body where there is less available oxygen. Dental decay and periodontal disease with gum infections are the source of 80% of all cases of bad breath.

An assessment by a Restorative Dentist or Periodontist will ascertain the source of the bacteria in the pockets of the gums affected.

Tongue hygiene can be easily and swiftly managed with the use of a dry toothbrush. The suggestion that a specially designed ‘tongue cleaner’ is required is wholly unfounded. The simple use of a toothbrush that has not been pre-wetted is highly effective at scrubbing the back of the tongue on a daily basis.

Naturally, dietary habits, like eating powerful smelling food and drink, may be the source of bad breath. Recent consumption of your favourite fish dish or curry, or the more obvious alcoholic drinks and smoking, may be the source of that unpleasant odour.

Dehydration can cause a dry mouth with the reduction of saliva producing odorous smells. Any condition that contributes to a dry mouth, such as drinking little water or using sleeping tablets, anti-depressants, diuretics (tea and coffee) and anti- hypertensive medications that reduce the flow of saliva can magnify the problem.

Specific medical conditions, such as diabetes or gastrointestinal disorders, can cause halitosis and you may need the condition to be diagnosed by your GP.

Chronic sinusitis or tonsillitis may indicate a referral to a GP or Consultant ENT surgeon. Medical and surgical intervention may be indicated.

If you have been affected by the thought of bad breath, you can seek advice from a specialist dentist in Restorative Dentistry or Periodontology. The General Dental Council can help you find an accredited specialist. Search for registered specialists in your local area.

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