Most people with bad breath don’t know they have it.
16th April 2015, Dubai, UAE: Bad breath – malodor or halitosis – is a common problem that can affect anyone regardless of age.
"I would say a lot of my patients have bad breath and many of them are not even aware of it," said Felicia Bjurfjall, dental hygienist at Dr. Michael’s Dental Clinic.
"The main causes of bad breath is poor oral hygiene - wrong brushing technique or lack of brushing, no flossing, etc. - where bacteria in our oral cavity are not removed properly during cleaning our teeth and are allowed to grow, which causes the bad taste and smell."
The main causes of bad breath is poor oral hygiene - wrong brushing technique or lack of brushing, no flossing.
"Usually, patients have the wrong brushing technique and do not brush sufficient time, and never or rarely flosses. Sometimes, bad breath can originate from the patient’s throat or stomach, if they already have a good oral hygiene. In this case, the problem could stem from a medical condition and should be brought up with the patient’s doctor."
Bad breath can also be caused by certain foods like onions, garlic, cheese etc. Skipping meals, dry mouth (xerostamia) and lifestyle habits like cigarette smoking, shisha or hookah and tobacco chewing can also cause halitosis.
"To combat bad breath, correct brushing technique is important. Brushing should be done twice a day for 2 minutes each time. Electric brushes are helpful since they are more powerful than a manual brush and usually have a timer which makes sure the patient takes sufficient time to clean his or her teeth. Flossing should also be done once every day. A tongue scraper is a helpful tool, since a lot of bacteria can be found on our tongue. I recommend using a tongue scraper daily to clean the tongue properly."
To avoid bad breath, Felicia also recommends to keep hydrated - drink lots of water all throughout the day as a dehydrated mouth can also be the cause of bad breath. Chewing sugar free gum can help as it gets the saliva flow going, flushing away bacteria and food debris.
Periodontal or gum disease is a common origin of bad breath and your dental provider will help you address your oral condition. Regular dental check-ups, every six months, are important in maintaining your oral health and maintaining fresh breath.