Bad Breath

Bad Breath

Have you noticed that your breath hasn’t been so fresh after hiding behind a mask? Have a bit of a bad taste lingering in your mouth when you wake up?

Don’t panic! Let’s work together to get to the root of the problem so that you no longer have to rely on mints. Now that we are able to see each other again let’s get you flourishing confidently in your social life with fresh breath!

Here are some potential reasons and solutions for bad breath (Halitosis) management:

You might be due for a dental examination and hygiene treatment.

The consequences of poor oral hygiene overtime can accumulate and develop into dental decay and gum disease. You physically may not feel or see anything going on but there may be more to it than meets the eye. Routine dental check-ups and hygiene maintenance by dental professionals will help you to understand, manage and develop an individualised homecare routine to manage the bacteria in your mouth.  

Book yourself in for a comprehensive dental check up with one of our friendly dentist’s and start your journey towards healthy teeth and gums.

Reduced salivary production/Dry mouth (Xerostomia)

Dry mouth can be a result of various causes such as dehydration, high concentration of caffeine intake, mouth breathing, sleeping, existing systemic conditions (diabetes, radiotherapy, history of stroke, sleep apnoea, sinusitis etc.), side effects from medications, smoking/vaping, alcohol consumption, and special dietary requirements.

A simple remedy is to start by increasing and monitoring your water intake (the recommended water intake per day is 2L or 8x250ml cups). Chewing sugar-free gum that contains xylitol will encourage saliva production and help to relieve dry mouth symptoms. There are a range of dry mouth washes such as Biotene, Colgate dry mouth relief and Oral 7 whaich are fantastic to help relieve your dry mouth symptoms.

Bacteria build up on the tongue, tonsil stones and poor oral hygiene

Long term accumulation of bacteria, dead cells and food debris under the gums, the surface of the tongue, or at the back of the throat can lead to bad breath. The bacteria accumulated can consist of good and bad bacteria. The bad bacteria is what releases odour as it is made up of compounds that turn into sulphur biproducts so it is important to manage the bacteria make up to prevent imbalance in the oral cavity. The basic recommended homecare routine is to brush twice daily with a fluoridated toothpaste and to floss once at night before you brush your teeth.

Some bacteria may sit in the unreached or hard to reach areas and overtime release odour and contribute to bad breath. If the bacteria is left unremoved it may initiate a disease process called periodontal disease where there is inflammation to the gums or damage to the supporting structures underneath the gums that function to hold the teeth in place. We highly recommend you have a thorough gum assessment and hygiene treatment to treat and manage any presenting gum disease. Please speak to one of our friendly receptionists to book an appointment with our oral health therapists (hygienists).

A white/creamy/yellow/black/brown coating on the top surface of the tongue is a good visual indication that the tongue is harbouring bacteria. We recommend for you to clean the tongue once to twice daily as part of your oral hygiene routine with either the rubbery extensions on the back of a manual toothbrush, a separate soft manual toothbrush or a tongue scraper. The key is to gently remove the coating on the tongue to reveal a uniform pink colour.  

Tonsil stones form when food particles, bacteria, mucus, and saliva get trapped in the crevices of the tonsils at the back of the throat. If left unmanaged the food particles will decompose and release a foul taste and odour. Potential causes for tonsil stones include poor oral hygiene or variation in tonsil anatomy which increases the retentive factor. Good methods to prevent/manage tonsil stones are to gargle (either water, mouthwash, or warm salt water) to disrupt the build-up before the tonsil stones form. Use a water flosser or cotton bud to dislodge the stones but it is advised to speak to a health professional before you attempt this.

Gastro-intestinal issues

Bad breath can also be caused by an upset in your gastro-intestinal (G.I) system. Your gut health/bacteria and reflux play a crucial role in your mouth health. Taking a daily probiotic such as BLIS can help to support the good bacteria in your mouth and G.I system. Management of reflux is also important to help the pH levels of your mouth in a normal range, as bacteria tends to thrive in an acidic environment. Feel free to ask us for further information or visit your GP if you have concerns regarding the health of your G.I system.

Some of your symptoms or queries weren’t mentioned above? We still have more up our sleeves. Speak to our friendly dental team at McKeefry Dental and we can work together to achieve the optimal oral health you deserve.

Sally

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