Is an electric or manual toothbrush better for my teeth?
12th January 2021
If you're wondering whether an electric toothbrush would help you keep your teeth and gums in good condition, or whether… read more
Out and about, meeting, greeting, chatting or hoping to impress, we certainly don’t want the person we’re talking to feeling uncomfortable. Or, even worse, turn away. So a question we need to ask ourselves before we step through our front door is, “Does my breath smell bad?”
The truth is that we may not realise how bad our breath smells.
How often, for example, has a smoker stood next to you, and you’ve noticed straight away that stale, used-tobacco smell. Or you’ve caught a strong whiff of food flavours when someone breathed in your direction? Some of us don’t always realise how our breath smells while some of us are overly self-conscious of our breath when it’s actually fine. It’s hard to tell for ourselves.
If you are concerned about your breath, then it’s best to turn to someone you trust. Ask them to let you know when your breath is less than perfect.
Often a source for teasing, bullying or low humour, halitosis is not a laughing matter for anyone who suffers from it. It can cause social insecurities, affect our acceptance with our peers, even influence our promotion opportunities at work. It is also cited as a common reason for being turned down for a second date.
Most people suffer from unpleasant breath at some time or another. One sign might be a nasty taste in the mouth, or bleeding gums symptomatic of gum disease needing attention.
In the short term, a cover up helps. Cleaning our teeth more often, using mouth wash, eating sugar-free mints or chewing gum help mask the problem.
For lasting results, however, it’s important to treat the cause of the problem that contributes to bad breath, not just try to conceal it.
Short term fixes:
- Avoid food or drink that causes bad breath. Garlic is the obvious one, but others include: coffee, any alcohol, fish, eggs, ketchup, and even butter.
- Chew gum with xylitol, which helps produce bacteria-fighting saliva, and use a mouth wash.
- Buy a new toothbrush, some dental floss, interdental brushes, and try gentle tongue scraping too.
Long term solutions:
- Make an appointment to see the dentist, as gum disease and tooth decay cause bad breath.
- Visit the hygienist, for professional tooth cleaning that really gets into the places where bacteria linger.
- Act on advice about following a good oral hygiene routine.
Saliva works continuously to clean the mouth and reduce acidity, rinsing away food particles as well as reducing bacteria. A dry mouth allows bacteria to flourish. Dry mouth caused by low functioning salivary glands is called Xerostomia, and can be a complication of diabetes, or radiation treatment, for example.
However, even people with properly functioning salivary glands can suffer from a temporarily dry mouth, during exercise, for example, in hot weather, and simply through not drinking sufficient water.
Drinking water regularly is a great way of stimulating the salivary glands, as well as keeping the mouth fresher.
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During the current restrictions we're here to help you receive the face-to-face care you need from your dental team.
Access our free remote advice and triage service:
Patients often ask: