How to Treat Halitosis

Do you worry about how your breath smells? If the answer is yes, then you certainly aren’t alone. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common problem that can affect anyone at any point during their lifetime. Unfortunately, some people do seem more prone to the condition and it is estimated that around 25% of the U.S. population suffer from bad breath on a regular basis.

If you suffer from halitosis it can be very hard on your self-esteem and confidence. You may feel self-conscious and worried about sitting or standing too close to others, and it may affect your professional and personal relationships. In some cases, it can even impact the taste of the food and drink you consume.

Many people who are worried about their breath rely on a steady stream of mints or gum to keep their breath fresh. However, this only temporarily masks the problem. By treating the underlying cause, you can enjoy breath that doesn’t leave you dreading opening your mouth.

Causes of halitosis

There are a range of different factors that can affect the way that your breath smells. If the odor is only temporary, it is almost certainly caused by eating or drinking something with a very strong flavor, such as garlic or onions, or coffee or beer.

If you are unlucky enough to have persistently bad breath, the first thing you should do is check out your oral hygiene. In the majority of cases, regular bouts of halitosis are caused by poor dental cleaning habits, such as failing to brush and floss properly, or not using mouthwash. Other common causes of halitosis include:

  • Smoking / using e-cigarettes
  • Certain medical conditions, such as diabetes or GERD
  • Dry mouth
  • Periodontitis
  • Infections in your mouth, such as after oral surgery or an abscess
  • Other mouth, nose and throat conditions

Treating halitosis

Fortunately, there is no need to live with embarrassingly bad breath. There are a number of things that you can do to improve or even completely eradicate the foul odor that is interrupting your life.

If you suffer from persistent halitosis, the best thing that you can do is to up your cleaning game. Make sure you brush your teeth at least twice a day for the recommended two minutes using a fluoride-based toothpaste. Floss daily, which will remove any bacteria trapped between your teeth, and then rinse with a mouthwash to flush away any remaining particles of food or bacteria. You should also clean your tongue on a daily basis, either using a specialist tongue-cleaning tool or a teaspoon.

If you feel self-conscious about the way that your breath smells after eating or drinking, then it is best to try and avoid these items, particularly when you know you are going to be in close proximity to someone.

Drinking plenty of water during the day will help to wash away any food particles that may remain in your mouth. Chewing gum has also been proven to be good for oral health as not only does it have a lovely flavor, but it also stimulates the production of saliva, which is our bodies’ natural defense against bacteria.

For further advice on combating the effects of halitosis, arrange an appointment with our dentist who will be delighted to help you improve your oral health and enjoy better breath.