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You Can'T Hide Bad Breath With A Smile! - Swindon Dentist - Highworth Dental Care


We can probably all remember being greeted by someone whose breath is far from sweet. Did they rush out this morning and not brush their teeth, do they have bad breath or is it a sign of another condition?

Also known as halitosis or oral malodour, bad breath is formed of several gases produced by excess bacteria. This forms an unpleasant and sometimes quite offensive odour. The bacteria can also cause gum disease and tooth decay.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is mainly caused by a build up of bacteria when you fail to follow a good oral health routine (see below). Bad breath can also be caused by illness, low fluid intake, stress, lack of salivary flow and exercise. For example, it can be an indication of diabetes so if you're unsure please make an appointment to see your hygienist or dentist.

How do you know if you have bad breath?

You could ask your partner, close friend or relative to be honest with you. It may be something they felt they couldn't come out and say until asked.
Top tip: A simple check is to lick your wrist starting at the back of the tongue, and wiping the inner wrist to the tip. Let the saliva dry for 10 seconds then smell the area for any unpleasant odours. We'll be watching out for anyone in Highworth licking their wrist!

Top tips for good oral health routine

Poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath. We suggest:
  1. Brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste for 2 minutes twice a day, particularly before you go to bed. Use an alcohol-free mouthwash and floss to get between the teeth where the bacteria can form. Check out this app which plays your favourite tune for 2 minutes while you brush your teeth!
  2. Choose the right toothbrush, most adults suit a small head with compact medium or soft bristles. You may prefer an electric toothbrush with a round oscillating head. We can advise you.
  3. Don't rinse your mouth out with water after brushing, you'll wash away the fluoride effect!
  4. Water, water... drink plenty of water during the day.
  5. Bad breath caused by food and drink is usually temporary. Garlic, onion, spices, coffee and alcohol are common causes of bad breath, avoid if you wish but good oral hygiene will help!
  6. Need we tell you? Smoking causes bad breath, gum disease as well as staining your teeth, so another good reason to give up!
Of course don't forget a regular visit to your Highworth hygienist to ensure any oral health problems are picked up early!

Following a good oral health routine but still have bad breath?

Bad breath can be a symptom or a sign of something else. Come and see one of our hygienists or dentists. It could be a sign of gum disease and best to get it checked out to prevent . It may be a symptom of medication you taking such as chemotherapy. Consult your GP who may be able to recommend an alternative.

You're not alone: Research indicates that 55% to 65% of people have chronic halitosis and up to 95% of the population suffer at one time or another.

Please call the practice if you have specific queries and we can make an appointment to see a hygienist or dentist to check your oral health.

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