Bad breath or halitosis is embarrassing and can have social and psychological implications. It can have many causes but contrary to popular belief it is mainly due to mouth problems. If you are concerned about your breath please talk to us in confidence.
What causes bad breath?
The main cause of bad breath is oral bacteria that produce volatile sulphur compounds from proteins in the mouth. Dental problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, dry mouth can cause bad breath as they harbour bacteria in the mouth.
The back of the tongue is a very common place to collect bacteria as it is usually not cleaned like other parts of the mouth.
Certain foods such as onions, garlic and spices as well as alcohol and smoking contribute to bad breath.
Can bad breath be treated?
First your dentist needs to identify the cause(s). If the contributing factors are oral they can generally be treated by routine dental treatment. The dentist or hygienist will then instruct and advise you on how to maintain a fresh breath. This might include the use of products which help mask odours or antibacterials to fight infection.