Bad breath: how to deal with it according to a GP

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Everyone will suffer from this at some points, particularly in the mornings when the flow of saliva in the mouth is reduced allowing bacteria to start to breakdown food residue and dead cells in the mouth, producing odorous chemicals. If you feel your breath is unpleasant more often than this, then these are some things to think about:

What You'll Need

  • Tongue Cleaner/Scraper

What You'll Do

  • Visit the hygienist: gum disease also known as gingivitis, is an important cause of halitosis due to the build of bacteria and altered blood around the gums. Regular flossing is essential but to get to the deeper peridontal pockets, you will need a proper clean by a hygienist at least every 6 months.
  • Invest in a tongue cleaner: Bacteria also build on the tongue which will eventually start producing bad odours if not removed. A non traumatic tongue scraper can help with this, as can regular use of a mouthwash.
  • Eat regular meals and drink lots of water: if you are prone to missing meals or have just gone on a crash diet, you may notice that your breath takes on a sweet, sickly smell. This is because as your body starts breaking down fats, ketones are released, which have a very distinctive odour.
  • If your bad breath is also accompanied by a bad taste in the mouth, it might be that your suffering with silent reflux of acid from the stomach into your food pie and mouth. Your GP should be able to help with remedies for this. Seeing your GP would also be helpful if you have a constantly blocked nose and tend to mouth breathe. You may have chronic sinusitis which can also make bad breath worse.
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