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Bad Breath: Types, Causes, Symptoms & Treatment

Dr. Tom Hall - Friday, September 07, 2018

No one wants to have bad breath. It is one of the most “human” things that is actually considered socially unacceptable.

While bad breath isn’t generally the sign of ill-health (common morning breath, for example, is usually harmless), there are some types of foul-smelling breath that can indicate something more sinister.

To find out about the different types of bad breath, the symptoms and how to treat it, keep reading.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is medically known as halitosis. It occurs when a person has poor dental habits and it can be worsened by the type of food eaten. You can mask the smell of strong smelling foods (onions and garlic, in particular, can leave a strong odour in the mouth) with dental products like toothpaste, mouthwash and mints. However, until the foods have passed through the body the smells may still linger in the mouth.

Types of bad breath

Morning breath

Morning breath is the most common dental odour concern. When you sleep the mouth becomes dry, and because there is less saliva in your mouth to wash away the bad odour this can cause your mouth to smell.

Another cause for morning breath is poor oral hygiene the night before. Make sure that you brush and floss your teeth for two minutes before you go to sleep and your breath will be fresher in the morning.

Persistent bad breath

Persistent bad breath could be a sign that you eat a lot of strong-smelling foods like garlic, dairy and tuna. Or, it could be the sign of a more serious condition, such as gum disease. If you suspect you may have gum disease you should seek treatment right away, otherwise, you may experience tooth loss or disease.

Bad breath symptoms

If you’re unsure whether you have bad breath, check yourself against these common symptoms:

  • Constant dry mouth
  • Build-up of plaque or food around teeth
  • A white coating on the tongue, especially at the back of the tongue
  • Thick saliva
  • A sour, bitter taste in your mouth

Bad breath remedies

There are numerous bad breath treatments you can try. Most importantly, you should ensure you have good habits around oral hygiene: brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes, flossing daily and visiting a dentist regularly.

Other remedies include:

  • Drinking lots of water
  • Brushing your teeth after every meal
  • Floss
  • Replacing your toothbrush every 2-3 months
  • Carry mouthwash and strong mints/chewing gum around with you

To avoid becoming the victim of bad breath, you should have regular check-ups with a dentist. Book in with Terrigal Beach Dental and combat bad breath today!