How do I know whether I have bad breath?
Bad breath (also known as Halitosis) is a very common issue that people worry about. It can be embarrassing for some, but many do not even realise they have it. It can be difficult to assess how your own breath smells; the best way to assess this is to ask a trusted friend or relative to give an honest opinion!
Why do I get bad breath?
Bad breath can be caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth that may give off foul-smelling odours. Poor oral hygiene (not brushing or flossing frequently or well) can cause this bacteria buildup which can cause bad breath. If you have appliances or prosthetics which you use in your mouth, poor cleaning can also lead to bacteria buildup around these items. Other causes of bad breath include smoking (due to tobacco and possible gum disease common in smokers), foul smelling foods (which usually resolve quickly), dry mouth (from lack of saliva or mouth breathing) or medical problems.
Is there anything I can do prevent bad breath?
Most commonly, improving your oral health will address your bad breath. Good hygiene at home (brushing twice a day and flossing daily), as well as brushing your tongue will help to keep bad smelling bacteria from building up. Routine dental checkups are also important to check for gum disease (which are usually caused by bad smelling bacteria) and decay which can cause food to become trapped. Other ways to prevent bad breath include staying hydrated and chewing sugarless gum to keep your mouth moist, avoiding the use of tobacco products, as well as ensuring any related medical issues are treated.
Will mouthwashes help to improve my breath?
Some mouthwashes will help to decrease bacteria in your mouth, as well as help bad breath. However, this is usually not a long term fix and ensuring you find and treat the cause of the bad breath is very important. If you use a daily mouthwash for bad breath, it may be a good idea to use a non-alcoholic mouthwash as alcohol may dry out your mouth.
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