Bad breath is, unfortunately, a lot more common than we would like to admit. It can be extremely embarrassing for those who are aware of it. It can also be very uncomfortable for those close to someone who is unaware that they have bad breath.

Many people carry on through life with this problem until someone close to them is “kind” enough to point it out to them. Maybe it is a dentist or a hygienist who suggests that there may be a problem with gum disease or some other oral condition.

What causes bad breath?

There are several reasons that a nasty odour may be present. I have listed some of the most common ones below:

1. Stomach or other intestine conditions

A patient will usually be aware of this and will experience some level of discomfort. A visit to your GP will help resolve or treat this. The bad breath will usually disappear once it has been successfully treated.

2. Certain foods

We all know the sort of thing; onions , garlic, fish, alcohol. The effects of these are short lived and have no lasting effect on breath odour.

3. Smoking

It just stinks. No further explanation needed.

4. Gum Disease

This is caused by a build up of plaque around teeth that is not effectively removed. Nearly everyone will accumulate some plaque over time no matter how good their oral hygiene is. The problem gets worse when plaque deposits are left for a long time to build up.

What is Plaque?

Plaque is a matrix of foot particles , minerals and bacteria that are normally present in your mouth. It attaches to the necks of the teeth at gum level and unless it is removed daily (and properly!) it causes red and bleeding gums and it starts to give off a nasty odour. Many people are unaware of this …….. but those closest to them aren’t!

Plaque will harden after about 24 hours and at this point any amount of brushing /flossing/mouthwash will not effectively remove it. Over time it causes the breakdown of the tissue that attaches the teeth to the jaw bones leaving a space or “pocket” between the tooth and the gum. This will fill up with more plaque and so the cycle continues until the teeth become loose.

It is completely treatable if identified in time. Having seen a dentist and the problem identified a plan of treatment is drawn up for the individual patient. Everyone will have different needs.
The hygienist will identify all plaque deposits whether above or below the gum level and remove these using a gentle root cleaning technique . (Some people will need more cleaning than others) Detailed oral hygiene instruction is given with brush and floss etc. so that you can maintain nice clean teeth and healthy gums .

Fresh breath and all your own teeth…….. Is that what you want?