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Having bad breath can make you feel very self-conscious around people, especially when your job requires you to speak to people face to face. Worrying about your bad breath can also affect your personal relationships.

You wonder if your bad breath could possibly put off any potential new romantic partners or prevent your friends from sitting close to you in social situations.

Sometimes bad breath can affect someone so negatively that they will even go as far as cancelling job interviews because they fear it will affect their interview performance or put off the interviewer.

Having bad breath is more common than you think!

It can be reassuring to know that you are not alone. Some dental studies have shown an average of 50% of adults will experience bad breath at some time in their lives.

Because bad breath, or halitosis, consistently affects so many people, a lot of research has gone into understanding the causes for it as well as finding ways to combat the issue.

What Causes Bad Breath?

There can be many reasons why you experience bad breath. It can be as simple as having bad breath following a night out on the town eating spicy foods that can cause it. Other causes can be smoking, drinking coffee and regular consumption of sulphur-containing foods such as onions and garlic.

However, if you cannot pinpoint an obvious reason such as this for your bad breath, or you experience it constantly, this can sometimes be a sign of an underlying health issue that needs addressing.

Bacterial build up

Your mouth is full of natural bacteria that can build up over a few hours. After you eat or drink anything your oral bacteria will feed on any leftovers in your mouth. Bacteria will leave behind smelly excretions that will cause bad breath.

The importance of saliva

Your saliva is an important part of your digestive process. It not only mixes with the food you eat to make it easier for you to chew and swallow, but your saliva also performs an important job of washing your mouth out and neutralising mouth bacteria.

You can help your saliva to do its job by avoiding breathing through your mouth. Mouth breathing can mean your mouth becomes too dry and will allow bacteria to build up quicker.

If you are taking any medications that can cause dry mouth, it is worth taking to your GP or dentist to see if there are any alternative treatments you can have to prevent this.

Check for gum disease

Gum disease and tooth infections can be a source of bad breath that won’t go away. Make sure you book a check-up with your dentist so that they can give you an oral examination to check for these issues and give you the appropriate treatment.

Your dentist or dental hygienist can also show you the proper way to clean your teeth and also recommend the right type of toothbrush, toothpaste, floss and mouthwash to use that can help you to keep on top of your oral health to reduce or prevent bad breath.

Bad breath can be managed and greatly reduced by:

  • Teeth brushing twice per day
  • Flossing at least one per day
  • Using mouthwash
  • Use a tongue scraper or toothbrush to clean the back of your tongue

For denture wearers, remember to take them out at night and thoroughly clean them before using them again the next day.