December 16, 2017

Is Your Breath ready for that Christmas Mistletoe?

Photo courtesy of Julia Freeman-Woolpert

The festive season is already well underway, and while many people are looking forward to stealing a kiss underneath the mistletoe, others may be less enthusiastic due to worries over bad breath. Bad breath or halitosis is a very common complaint, and most of us suffer from it occasionally after eating something particularly spicy, or which contains large amounts of garlic.

Luckily this situation generally resolves itself after a few hours, as these highly flavoured foods are gradually absorbed into the bloodstream before being exhaled on the breath. Although these odours can be masked, there is really nothing that can be done to get rid of this type of bad breath. Halitosis caused by other problems can be a lot worse.

Reasons for Suffering from Halitosis Include:

  • Poor oral hygiene is a common cause of bad breath, and failing to brush your teeth twice a day and flossing once a day will almost certainly mean that food debris remains trapped in between the teeth, on the tongue, and on the gums. These particles of food will quickly begin to rot, creating noxious gases as a result. In addition the mouth is home to many different types of bacteria, and some of these can create unpleasant and sulfurous smells.
  • If you do have poor oral hygiene, then there’s a chance you could be suffering from gum disease. This is caused by plaque bacteria building up in the mouth, creating infection and inflammation in the gums. People with gum disease frequently have bad breath as the condition can lead to pus developing around the gums. If you have tooth decay then this can also lead to bad breath, especially if you develop dental abscesses.
  • If you wear dentures or other kinds of dental appliances and fail to clean them properly then you’re more likely to suffer from bad breath. This is because food is often easily trapped by these appliances, and failure to remove it can lead to it decaying.
  • If you wear a badly fitting dental appliance then you’re more at risk of developing halitosis, as the appliance can cause sore spots in the mouth, leaving you more open towards infection.
  • Some people suffer from a medical condition called xerostomia, more commonly known as dry mouth. This is where there isn’t enough saliva produced to keep the mouth comfortable and clean. Saliva helps to wash away bacteria and food debris, and also helps to neutralize the acids produced after eating. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medical conditions, or can be caused by radiation or chemotherapy as this can sometimes damage the salivary glands.
  • There are also certain other diseases and ailments that can make you more prone towards developing bad breath. These include pneumonia and bronchitis, and any other types of infections that affect the sinuses or respiratory tract.

Lessen Your Chances of Developing Bad Breath
Visiting the dentist at regular intervals is an important part of keeping your breath nice and fresh, as they will professionally clean your teeth, removing all the plaque and tartar that builds up over the course of a few months and they can treat any signs of dental disease.

Your dentist should be your first stop if you do suffer from bad breath; if they can’t find any reason then they are likely to recommend you visit your doctor. If you take action now to remedy your bad breath, then you’ll be able to approach the mistletoe with confidence!

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