Reasons for bad breath

When you have halitosis and your breath smells bad, it can be embarrassing and make you feel uncomfortable about social situations or getting close to someone. That's why it's important to get a better understanding of the causes of halitosis. Here Corsodyl® looks at at six possible reasons for bad breath and what to do about them:

1. YOU AREN'T LOOKING AFTER YOUR TEETH AND GUMS PROPERLY

Plaque bacteria is constantly building up on, around and in between your teeth and this can be responsible for halitosis. As this bacteria breaks down particles of food in your mouth it can release an unpleasant smelling gas causing your breath to smell bad.

The best way to help prevent this is to brush twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste and floss to remove plaque and trapped food from those hard to reach places in between your teeth.

2. YOU MAY BE ON THE WAY TO GUM DISEASE

Halitosis can be one of the early signs of gum disease, as this is also caused by a build-up of plaque bacteria along the gum line that may be responsible for bad breath. If it's not removed then plaque can cause bleeding and swollen gums, the symptoms of gingivitis. Left untreated, this could lead to more serious gum disease.

To help prevent gingivitis, brush twice daily with a fluoride toothpaste like Corsodyl® Toothpaste.

3. WHAT YOU EAT AND DRINK

If you eat foods with a strong odour, such as garlic, onions and spices, or drink coffee or alcohol, this can temporarily make your breath smell. The best way to stop this is to avoid these types of food and drink.

4. YOU'RE A SMOKER OR CHEW TOBACCO

Smoking cigarettes, pipes, or using snuff or chewing tobacco can all make your breath smell bad. It can also stain teeth and may put you at higher risk of developing gum disease. Kick the smoking habit for a healthier mouth, whiter teeth and fresher breath.

5. YOU'RE ON A CRASH DIET

Fasting, crash or low carb diets can have the side effect of causing bad breath. This is because as the body is forced to break down fat it produces chemicals called ketones. These are released into your breath making it smell bad. This type of halitosis can only be fixed by changing your diet.

6. YOU HAVE A MEDICAL CONDITION

In rare cases, some medical conditions can make your breath smell bad. One is 'dry mouth' or, to use its medical name, ‘xerostomia’, which occurs when the flow of saliva, or spit, to the mouth is interrupted. This can make breath smell because saliva helps to moisten the mouth and wash away the bacteria that can cause bad breath.

Gastrointestinal conditions, throat and chest infections can also cause bad breath. Diabetes is sometimes associated with halitosis. If you have any concerns about bad breath, you should talk to your dentist or doctor.