Bad breath – why do I have it and how to get rid of it?

15 June 2021

bad breath

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, affects one-third of the UK population according to figures from the UK’s Oral Health Foundation. The two most common causes include gum disease and tongue coating (overgrowth of odour-causing bacteria on the tongue). Morning bad breath is caused by the decrease in saliva production during the night, which means the bacteria that cause this isn’t washed away. On rare occasions, this may be related to general health conditions.

To check if gum disease is the cause of bad breath, it’s a good idea to get a gum health screen. If that’s the case, the gum condition will need to be treated to eliminate this problem. For tongue coating, cleaning your tongue with a toothbrush or a special tongue scraper can reduce the number of bad-breath-causing bacteria on the tongue. Mouthwash may help as a breath freshener. The key active ingredients proven to have the most beneficial effect on lousy breath include chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride and zinc.

Visiting your dentist regularly is an essential part of maintaining good oral health. During your dental examination, your dentist will check your teeth and gums for any signs of disease or damage. If needed, your dentist may refer you to a periodontist for further care. A periodontist is a dental specialist who specialises in treating periodontal (gum) diseases. We can diagnose and treat periodontal diseases, and provide guidance on maintaining good oral hygiene habits. Having a periodontist on your team can help you keep your teeth and gums healthy for life. Regular visits to your dentist and periodontist, along with proper oral hygiene, are essential for maintaining good oral health.