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Bad Breath

Bad Breath (Halitosis)

It’s hard to say what is worse: having bad breath, or not knowing that you have bad breath. We’ve all been there at some point in our lives – just think back the last time you had a souvlaki with that double garlic sauce! Bad breath or halitosis is a common condition that affects 25 percent of the population. Luckily bad breath due to pungent food or spices such as garlic and onion is short-lived and easily fixable with some mint. But what if it is a chronic problem that won’t go away? Halitosis is not only embarrassing and socially inhibiting, but it may also be signals for more serious body health issue.

Bad breath is most commonly caused by common bacteria living in your mouth. These bacteria thrive on the food residue that remains in your mouth after each meal, secreting volatile sulphur compounds (VSC) which smells and tastes foul.
Dental conditions such as dental decay, gum disease or poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss properly, or if you suffer from dental decay or gum disease, food and bacteria can remain between the teeth, on the tongue and around the gums. Bacteria can rapidly process the food residue and release the unpleasant odour.

Dry mouth syndrome (xerostomia) occurs when there is a decreased salivary flow due to malfunctioning salivary glands. Saliva is important in balancing the PH and lubricating the mouth, as well as washing away food and bacteria. Having a dry mouth can certainly increase your chance of getting bad breath, even if your oral hygiene is meticulous!

Smoking chemicals in cigarettes such as nicotine and tar affect your mouth's ability to receive oxygen, limiting healthy blood supply to the gums, and also has a drying effect on the gums and tongue. as a result, more bacteria stagnation and more VSC release.

Diet may also contributes to bad breath. Fad diets such as Atkins severely restricts carbohydrate intake, which affects your oral and gut bacteria balance.

Illnesses and medical disorders. Local infections in the respiratory tract, tonsil stones, chronic sinusitis, post-nasal drip, chronic bronchitis, gastrointestinal disturbance or diabetes are all known to cause bad breath. More rarely, some cancer, and liver or kidney ailment can cause breath odor.
Halitosis mostly presents a social problem for many people. Some people are paranoid of their breath all the time, and as a result are fearful of becoming close or intimate with their loved ones. Occasionally halitosis is the only oral symptom of a more serious medical disorder which otherwise goes undiagnosed.
3 steps to fresher breath:

step 1: Remove plaque
Proper tooth brushing
Use of interproximal cleaners, such as floss or interdental cleaning devices
Use of toothpaste containing triclosan
Invest in a tongue scraper that removes bacteria on your tongue

step 2: Increase saliva flow
Chew sugar-free gums
Use dry mouth relief products
Drink plenty of water during the day in small sips
Use oral probiotic products (available exclusively through us)

step 3: Change your habit
Attend your dentist regularly for check up and cleans
Seek gum disease treatment if you are a sufferer
Consider Smoking or tobacco cessation
Eliminate food that may cause more mouth odour
Increase green vegetables and fruits intake
Seek medical help to exclude problems such as respiratory and digestive systems
Call us at Hearts Dental to schedule a dental check-up and clean if you're concerned about you or loved ones having bad breath. We are the experts of the mouth and nothing will faze us, not even bad smells! Not only will our dentists be honest in telling you the truth about your breath, we can also help identify the cause, freshen your breath, improve your social confidence and relationships.
Dr. Qing Guo Believes