How to get rid of bad breath
It’s been estimated that as many as 1 in 4 people suffer from bad breath in the UK. As a dental practice in Oxford we see many patients seeking treatment for bad breath or halitosis as it’s also known as. If you’re looking for treatment for halitosis or are worried about bad breath please mention this to your Summertown Dental & Implants dentist in Oxford and he or she will start by smelling both the breath from your mouth and the breath from your nose and rate the smell or odour on a scale. We may also scrape the back of your tongue as this is often the source of the smell.
It’s vital to practice good oral health on a daily basis to avoid cavities, lower the risk of gum disease and stop bad breath. For more advice and to give yourself the best oral health regime why not start by booking an appointment with our dental hygienist in Oxford. Further treatment for bad breath can vary, depending on the cause. If your bad breath is thought to be caused by an underlying health condition, your Oxford dentist will likely refer you to your GP.
For more information on what causes bad breath your dentist or dental hygienist will ask a series of questions related to how you maintain good oral health and allied to your current lifestyle and diet. At Summertown Dental & Implants we’ll discuss a plan to help you better control your bad breath and halitosis. Dental measures may include:
- Mouth rinses and toothpastes. Bad breath can be due to a build up of bacteria known as plaque on your teeth, so we may recommend a mouth rinse that kills the bacteria and a toothpaste containing an antibacterial chemical to kill the bacteria that causes the plaque to build up in the first case.
- Gum Disease. This disease causes gums to pull away from your teeth, leaving deep holes that can fill with bacteria that then produce bad smells and odours. This may require professional cleaning by our Periodontist to remove these bacteria. For more information on why gum disease causes bad breath view our gum disease page or make an appointment with our Oxford Periodontist by calling or emailing the practice. Your dentist might also recommend replacing faulty tooth restorations which can act as a breeding ground for bacteria. You may want to consider dental implants for this.
To reduce or prevent bad breath:
- Brush your teeth after you eat and then floss. Brush your teeth at least twice a day and especially after meals. Keep a toothbrush at work to use after eating. Use a toothpaste with antibacterial properties and floss properly to remove food and plaque on and between your teeth. This will reduce bad breath.
- Brush your tongue. This helps remove odour-inducing bacteria that live on your tongue. Carefully brushing your tongue daily may reduce bad smells and odours. Smoking coats your tongue even more bacteria that cause bad breath so stopping or reducing smoking will help reduce bad breath. If you can’t quit smoking then you may benefit from using a tongue scraper to remove excess bacteria. Some toothbrushes also have a built-in tongue cleaner.
- Avoid dry mouth. Keeping your mouth moist can help reduce bad breath so avoid cigarettes and drink plenty of water throughout the day. Drinks like coffee, soft drinks and alcohol should be avoided as they can lead to a drier mouth. Chewing gum or sucking on sugarless sweets will stimulate saliva and help keep your mouth and tongue moist. We have oral medications available if you suffer from chronic dry mouth, just ask your Summertown Dental & Implants dentist or hygienist.
- Clean dentures or dental appliances. If you wear a bridge or a denture, clean it thoroughly at least once a day or as directed by your Summertown dentist. If you have a dental retainer or mouth guard, clean it each time before you put it in your mouth. Your dentist can recommend the best cleaning products.
- Change your diet. Avoid foods that sour your breath such as garlic and onions as they’re associated with causing bad breath. Eating sugary foods is also linked with bad breath.
- Change your toothbrush regularly. At Summertown Dental & Implants in Oxford we recommend changing your toothbrush when it becomes frayed or roughly every three to four months.
- Schedule regular dental checkups. See your dentist on a regular basis, at least twice a year, to have your teeth or dentures examined and cleaned. Contact us today.
Tips for seeing your dentist to discuss bad breath & halitosis
- Our Summertown Dental & Implants dentists generally prefer morning appointments for testing bad breath to reduce the chances that foods you eat during the day will hinder the examination
- Don’t wear perfume, scented lotions, or scented lipstick or lip gloss to your appointment, as these products can mask any smells.
- If you’ve taken antibiotics within the last month, check with your dentist to see if your appointment needs to be rescheduled.
What to expect from your dentist
Your Oxford dentist will likely start with an evaluation of your medical history, asking questions such as:
- When did you first begin to experience bad breath?
- Is your bad breath occasional or continuous?
- How often do you brush your teeth or clean your dentures?
- How often do you floss?
- What kinds of foods do you eat most often?
- What medications and supplements do you take?
- What health conditions do you have?
- Do you breathe through your mouth?
- Do you snore?
- Do you have allergies or sinus problems?
- What do you suspect might be causing your bad breath?
- Have other people noticed and commented on your bad breath?
Be ready to answer these questions so that you can make the most of your appointment time. Call or email the practice today for your appointment.
T. 01865 558822