If you want to know if you have bad breath, you just need to lick the back of your hand, let it dry for 10 seconds, then smell it- This is what your breath smells like to other people!
No one wants bad breath (halitosis), but everyone gets it at some stage. Thats because the warm, moist conditions of your mouth are ideal for the growth of bacteria. Some bad breath, like “morning breath”, is normal. It occurs because your body makes less saliva during the night. Your mouth then becomes dry and dead cells stick to your tongue and the inside of your cheeks. When bacteria use these cells for food, they produce a foul odor. There are other, more serious, causes of halitosis, though as you have read above.
First rule is to get your gums, tongue and teeth really clean (see Hygiene for instructions). Our lovely hygienists are expert in cleaning and showing you how to maintain a fresh clean mouth. There are a range of specialised devices, gels and rinses to help with this. Give your mouth a dental spa!
Seven Causes of Bad Breath
- Poor dental hygiene – if you don’t brush and floss often enough, bits of food will start to decay inside the mouth.
- Infections in the mouth – periodontal (gum) disease, usually caused by plaque bacteria accumulation at the gum line.
- Respiratory tract infections – throat, sinus or lung infections can cause an accumulation of mucus in the throat.
- External agents – garlic, onion, coffee, cigarette smoking, chewing tobacco, alcohol and some spices can all cause halitosis (bad breath).
- Dry mouth (xerostomia) – caused by salivary gland problems, medicines or “mouth breathing”.
- Systemic illnesses – diabetes, liver, kidney, lung, sinus and reflux diseases, renal infection and others.
- Psychiatric illness – some people believe thy have bad breath when they do not. This is called halitophobia.