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preventing bad breath

7th February 2019

Advice from a dentist on preventing bad breath

Are you worried about having bad breath? It’s a common enough worry, and actually around 1 in 4 people in UK are thought to suffer with bad breath on a regular basis. There are three main causes of bad breath: underlying medical conditions, dental hygiene, and lifestyle choices. Are the ways to prevent bad breath, and how can you maintain fresh breath always and forever? Let’s discover minty freshness in this blog post…

The causes of bad breath

Bad breath & food

Digestion doesn’t just happen in the tummy. No, digestion begins as soon as you begin chewing your food. This process begins in your saliva, which contains the digestive enzyme amylase that helps to break down carbohydrates and sugars in your mouth before it reaches your stomach. Around 30% of starch digestion takes place in your mouth (try this: place a shred of white bread on your tongue and just let it sit in your saliva, and it will begin to taste sweet because of the sugar breakdown!) Strong smelling and tasting foods, like onion and garlic and coffee, can stick around in your saliva and taint your breath. It’s not until your body has fully processed these foods that you’re free from the odour. This is why you can literally ‘sweat out’ garlic! This isn’t a particularly bad health reason for bad breath, but this dentist would like to share it anyway.

Smoker’s breath

So, this is where the health warnings come in. As a team of dentists, we wouldn’t be doing our job if we didn’t warn you of smoking. Your lungs are made of bronchioles, spongey branches that air passes through when you exhale and inhale. Smoking causes smoke particles to get caught in these spongey membranes, which are knocked loose by laughing, breathing, and talking. This is why smoker’s breath can smell stale, because this kind of old smoke has stuck around in the lungs and comes out sporadically. Of course, we’d like to remind you of the health issues smoking comes with like accelerated plaque and tartar build up, increased gum sensitivity, and much higher risks of developing mouth cancer. If you want to stamp out bad breath and better your health all in one, cutting back on smoking is definitely our advice.

Bad dental hygiene

Bad breath can be a sign of more concerning dental issues such as gum disease and cavities. Both gum disease and cavities are brought about through the accumulation of plaque and bad bacteria that, as well as eating away at your mouth’s surfaces, come accompanied by a foul smell. Your dentist wants you to brush and floss for a reason – because it will help your dental health and your fresh breath. If you’re noticing a perpetual odour to your breath, it may be wise to book a dentist appointment or visit a dental hygienist to check that your teeth and gums aren’t in a compromising position.

How to prevent and treat prevent bad breath

• Brush, floss, mouthwash! Brushing twice a day, flossing once a day, and using an antiseptic mouthwash will help to keep plaque and harmful bacteria at bay. Brushing will help your teeth, flossing primarily your gums, and mouthwash the whole package.
• Visit your dentist and dental hygienist. Your dentist will be able to help you with cavities and decay, and your dental hygienist will be able to spot, treat, and prevent gum disease. With these two professionals combined, you could enjoy a healthier and nicer smelling mouth for a long time to come (if you maintain at-home care too!)
• Drink plenty of water. Making sure you’re hydrated with plenty of water will keep your mouth moist, stopping the bad breath associated with ‘dry mouth’. It will also act as a slight liquid exfoliation, because it will help to wash away any loose food debris and reset the pH balance in your mouth.

Treat bad breath and maintain your dental health with the professional dental team at Roseacre Cottage Dental. Visit our dentist in Maidstone for expert care, attention, and fresh breath assistance. Enquire online or speak to a member of our team on 01622 730 548 today to book your appointment.