Do you have bad breath or halitosis?

Chronic bad breath – medically called halitosis – is an embarrassing problem that can impact negatively on your life, be truly demoralising and become a serious social issue (just look at the millions of dollars a year spent on oral care products to see how important fresh breath is to people).

Halitosis can affect anyone and, sadly, often we don’t know we have bad breath until somebody has the courage to tell us.

What causes halitosis?

It was once thought that bad breath comes from the stomach, but we now know that 85% to 90% of halitosis conditions originate in the mouth. Sometimes, there may be “tonsil stones” that are causing the problem.

How do you cure bad breath?

bad breath or halitosis often originates in the mouth
Cleaning your teeth or using a mouthwash temporarily cover up the bad breath or halitosis smell but don’t address the underlying issue. Be sure to solve the whole problem to be rid of bad breath forever.

Unfortunately, quick fixes for bad breath like mouthwashes, flavouring agents, breath mints, chewing gum and other masking substances only cover up the smell and don’t address the underlying issue.

The good news is that at Island Dental, we can analyse the source of your bad breath and have highly effective treatments to prevent this embarrassing problem.

How can you tell if you have halitosis or bad breath?

Cupping your hands over your mouth and sniffing the air that you breathe out won’t tell you if your breath is bad. Here are some “bad breath tests” that may help you find out:

  • Pull your tongue forward using the thumb and index finger of your other hand. Use your other hand to wipe the back of your tongue for about 15 seconds with a clean cotton ball. Wait a few minutes, then sniff the cotton ball; if it smells bad, this could mean you have bad breath.
  • Clean between a few of your back teeth with a piece of unflavoured dental floss. Again, wait a few minutes, then sniff the floss. It’s likely that this is what your breath smells like.
  • Do you frequently have a bad taste in your mouth? This is another sign of halitosis.
  • Do you often experience a dry mouth or thick saliva and can’t seem to improve the condition?
  • Has someone offered you mints or chewing gum?
  • Do people step back from you when you’re talking or do they avoid direct contract with you? Ask for a truthful answer from someone in your family or a trusted friend. Yes, this can be embarrassing, but if you do have persistent bad breath, it’s definitely better to know about it so you can do something to solve the problem.

None of these tests are foolproof. To find out definitely if your breath has an offensive odour, you’ll need to see us for an examination. Then we can determine the source of your breath problem and can recommend specific products and techniques to make your breath smell good all the time.

Please – don’t be embarrassed to see us about your halitosis or bad breath problem. We are here to help you. Call us at Island Dental today on (08) 8449 9777.

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