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Why Does My Breath Smell?

October 3rd, 2018|
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Have you been told that your breath smells by someone close to you, or do you sometimes become aware of your own breath? Bad breath, or halitosis, affects most of us at some point in our life, but if your breath becomes a source of insecurity, or gets in the way of socialising, then it’s time to consider taking steps to improve it. The Townsville Dentist has information about what causes halitosis, and how you can improve it.

 

Did you know that morning breath is a modern invention?

Well, not quite, but nearly. Halitosis has cropped up throughout history, from an ancient Egyptian toothpaste, to clove-chewing Chinese people preparing to speak to the emperor, to ancient Greek philosophers prescribing a marble-based paste only to mention a few. But halitosis wasn’t widely considered a faux-pas until Listerine targeted it in the beginning of the 20th century in order to sell its mouthwash. Fear is the greatest sales tactic after all – why not create something to be afraid of that introduces a whole new market? Today, halitosis generates billions of dollars of revenue, and bad breath is one of the greatest social taboos.

 

What is halitosis?

Morning breath aside, bad breath or halitosis affects between nearly half the population at times of the day, or in their life, but a smaller number of people suffer from chronic halitosis. It is caused by odour-producing bacteria build-up in the oral cavity. In 90% of cases, halitosis is caused by periodontal or gum disease. Other causes can be poor dental hygiene, implant faults, respiratory tract infections and more. That’s why a stringent dental hygiene routine of flossing, brushing, tongue scraping, and mouth washing, as well as scheduling in regular dentist visits is key to getting to the root of bad breath.

Bad breath can of course also be worsened by certain foods and consumables such as garlic and onions, coffee, cigarettes, chewing tobacco and more.

 

How is halitosis treated?

Most over the counter remedies for halitosis are temporary and only work to mask, rather than remove the source of the smell, but antibacterial mouthwash can be a great place to start to reduce the sulphur-producing bacteria in your oral cavity. A dentist specialising in bad breath treatments can help diagnose and treat your halitosis. Depending on what’s causing your halitosis, the doctor can either suggest specific improvements to your dental routine for an at-home solution, or if the problem is more severe they can cure it through scaling and root planning, or gum surgery.

Do you feel self-conscious about your breath? Book an appointment and get to the source of the problem once and for all.

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