Most of our Addlestone patients probably associate bad breath with the foods that we eat. Garlic, to take a classic example, is well known for causing bad breath (as well as keeping vampires away of course!) Other substances, such as coffee, can also cause smelly breath, and, to a degree, we can control this by what we choose to eat, or rather, what we choose not to eat.
Generally speaking though, unless you eat and drink these products every day, your bad breath should only be occasional, rather than something that you suffer from on a daily basis.
Persistent bad breath is not only anti social, but could also be a sign that you have an oral health problem that needs to be addressed.
If you try to breath out through your mouth and then sniff the air to see if your breath smells, this simply won’t work. Your breath disperses in the air far too quickly for any odours to be detectable by ourselves. There are a couple of ways that can be helpful though. Firstly, try licking the inside of your wrist, and presuming you aren’t wearing perfume there, if it smells unpleasant, then it is very likely that your breath will do so too.
Another way to tell how offensive your breath is, is if you notice people starting to leave a wider distance between you and them when you are speaking to them. If your breath is really offensive, they may not be able to avoid turning their head away from you, or may even make up an excuse on the spot to walk away from you. Even in everyday situations this would be bad enough, but important occasions, such as an interview, could be a success or failure depending on what your breath smells like!
Food and drink
The most obvious thing to do initially, is to eliminate or at least cut down, on most of the foods that can cause your breath to smell. The following are some examples.
If your breath is purely caused by food and drink products, it goes without saying that eliminating or reducing them will improve your breath significantly.
Your oral health
If your bad breath is persistent, and eliminating food and drinks known for producing it doesn’t help, it is very likely indeed that you have gum disease or another health issue. The bacteria that contribute to this problem produce gases as they eat away at the gums and it is this that causes the bad smell often associated with bad breath, or halitosis.
There is little point in simply trying to mask this smell with breath fresheners or by sucking mints etc, and, instead, you should seek help from the hygienist at the Sync Dental Centres in Addlestone. This will enable you not only to have your teeth and gums professionally cleaned, but also allow you to discuss with them, ways in which you can look after your own oral health much better, in between these cleans. We must emphasise that we are here to help you with your oral health, and our hygienists and dentists will not ‘judge’ you for any ‘bad habits’ but simply offer suggestions and recommendations as to what you can do to improve.
If you smoke, or drink alcohol on a regular basis, you are likely to be advised to stop or cut down. Smoking especially, is a leading cause of gum disease, as well as other serious oral health issues such as mouth cancer. As well as creating an unpleasant smell in its own right, it also irritates the gums and causes narrowing of the blood vessels in that area. This will slow down any healing where it is needed and may lead to an increase in infections.
In addition to this, both smoking and drinking alcohol will often lead to a dry mouth, especially in the morning. This creates a warm, dry area which is ideal for the bacteria to breed, making them much harder to keep under control.
Even if you do stop smoking and manage to reduce your alcohol consumption to a moderate level, we still strongly recommend that you have a ‘scale and polish’ every six months. This is performed by the hygienist and removes hardened bacteria and scale (tartar) from the teeth and gum line, helping your breath to feel and smell much fresher. This procedure will also help to remove some surface staining from your teeth, making them look a little whiter too.
If you are worried about your breath, or have not had a professional hygienist clean before, why not arrange an appointment at our Addlestone practice to have this done? You can call the Sync Dental Centres on 01932 856541.