Bad breath (halitosis) is very common, but can be embarrassing and may even cause anxiety in social situations.
Causes of bad breath could include: eating or drinking strong-smelling foods and drinks, gum disease, rotten teeth, an infection, an underlying medical condition, and smoking.
Bad breath is typically caused by gas-releasing bacteria on the tongue and below the gum line.
You can usually treat bad breath yourself by making sure that your mouth, teeth, and tongue are clean. Treatment for bad breath can vary depending on the underlying cause.
Bad breath odors can vary depending on the underlying cause. It can be difficult to assess how your own breath smells.
If you are concerned about your own breath smelling strong, ask a close friend or family member to check for you. Symptoms of bad breath (halitosis) can include:
- Bad breath
- Bad morning breath and a burning tongue
- A white coating on the tongue
- Dry mouth
- Build up around the teeth and gum line
- Post-nasal drip or mucus
- A constant need to clear your throat and thick saliva
- A permanent sour, bitter taste
When to see an expert at Ahmeys?
If you have tried to treat your bad breath with regular cleaning and are still concerned about the smell or you are experiencing other symptoms of halitosis, call Ahmeys to speak to an expert or book an appointment.
We especially advise you to make contact with us if you have pain, bleeding or swollen gums, toothache or fever, and flu-like symptoms (this may indicate an infection).
One of our experts will be able to advise you on what treatment method to pursue next and may be able to refer you to a dentist or prescribe antibiotics if the underlying cause is a bacterial infection.
Gas-releasing bacteria that grow on the back of the tongue is just one potential cause of bad breath. Other possible causes of bad breath are:
- Dental causes (periodontitis – an infection of the teeth or gums, rotten teeth, holes in the teeth or general poor dental hygiene)
- Strong-smelling food and drink
- Dry mouth (caused by certain medications, alcohol, an additional medical condition, or stress)
- Acid reflux
- Post-nasal discharge (which could be caused by chronic sinusitis)
- Other mouth, nose, and throat conditions
- Kidney failure
- Metabolic dysfunctions
- Eating disorders (for example ‘fruity’/’acetone smelling breath as a result of ketoacidosis in some anorexia patients)
- Diet change
Call Ahmeys to book an appointment with one of our experts to discuss your symptoms. He or she will review your medical history, examine you and ask you questions to try and find the most likely cause of your bad breath.
One of our experts may smell the breath from your nose and mouth and take a sample from the back of your tongue. A physical assessment and an evaluation of your medical history will help to confirm a diagnosis.
Once one of our experts has assessed you, they will discuss treatment options with you. Treatments may include:
- An increase in your general oral hygiene
- A diet adjustment
- A referral to a dentist
- Further investigation if he or she believes that the underlying cause may be an additional health problem
How to manage your symptoms?
Most cases of bad breath can be treated at home by following some simple steps. Below are things that you can do to reduce or prevent bad breath:
- Brush your teeth and gums gently for two minutes at least twice a day using a fluoride toothpaste
- Gently clean your tongue once a day (you can use a tongue scraper or cleaner and some toothbrushes have a ridged back for this purpose)
- Clean between your teeth with floss or interdental brushes at least once a day
- Have regular dental check-ups
- If you wear dentures, keep them clean and remove them at night
- Either avoid eating strong-smelling food or use sugar-free mints or chewing gum after eating
- Try using an antibacterial toothpaste or mouthwash
- Avoid smoking
- Limit the number of sugary foods and drinks you consume
- Avoid dry mouth by drinking lots of water
- Adjust your diet
- Buy a new toothbrush regularly