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Dental HygieneBad breath, or Halitosis, can be a social nightmare. For those affected by halitosis, the embarrassment caused can be a barrier which leads to withdrawing form close personal contact with people; be they loved ones, friends or work colleagues.

The causes of halitosis are varied. Sometimes they can be the result of an on-going stomach problem or dietary intolerance. Occasionally it may relate to the mouth becoming dry if one becomes dehydrated.  However the vast majority of cases are related to the teeth and more usually the gums.

If a tooth is decaying, food may get stuck in the space and this will produce a smell that will contribute to the bad breath.  In many (if not most) cases, bad breath is the result of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by plaque bacteria that accumulate at the gum margins of the teeth. These bacterial colonies will release toxins that make the gums bleed and in some instances draw back to make the teeth loose. It is this bleeding and these toxins that cause halitosis.

Removing the causes of halitosis as opposed to masking the symptoms with mouthwashes is key to treating the problem. Mouthwashes may in the long term make the problem worse if it contains alcohol as this will dehydrate the mouth and add to the existing problem.

If you are suffering from bad breath your first action should be to see your dentist. If a diagnosis of gum disease or tooth decay is made, the appropriate action can be taken such as seeing the dental hygienist or having a filling. In the majority of cases this will resolve the issues that you are having. In the event that gum disease or tooth decay is not deemed to be the cause of your halitosis, an appropriate referral may made, for instance to you GP.

Halitosis is rarely un-treatable so don’t let your life be a misery. If you have bad breath, book a dental hygiene appointment with us and regain your confidence.