Bad Breath, Dry Mouth and How Can It Impact Your Health
It can be difficult to know if you have bad breath and the most reliable way find out is to ask a close relative or friend to tell you the truth. Everybody will occasionally have bad breath, usually because of food choices or maybe because they are feeling unwell. However, persistent bad breath does require investigation, as it is often caused by an untreated dental problem or very occasionally it may be due to an undiagnosed medical problem. Our dentist can soon pinpoint the reason.
What Can Cause Bad Breath?
Sometimes bad breath is caused by dental disease, for example, gum disease or tooth decay. Treating the problem will freshen your breath. Other times, it might be caused by poor oral hygiene. Having your teeth professionally cleaned will give you beautifully fresh breath and our hygienist can advise you on how to thoroughly clean your teeth at home.
Some people will develop bad breath as a side effect of medications or health problems which can cause a condition called dry mouth or xerostomia. Dry mouth can increase the likelihood of developing dental problems and we can work with you to reduce this risk.
Once you have sweet smelling breath, maintain it with regular dental visits and good oral care at home. With the proper dental care, you can be confident your breath will always be fresh.
What is Dry Mouth and How Can It Impact Your Health?
Dry mouth or xerostomia is a condition where someone is unable to produce sufficient saliva to keep their mouth clean and comfortable. Saliva is essential for good dental health, washing away excess bacteria, food particles and old skin cells and reducing acidity in the mouth. If you do not have enough saliva then you are more at risk of tooth decay and gum disease as well as fungal infections such as oral thrush.
What Causes Dry Mouth?
It can be a side effect of aging or from taking certain medications. Health conditions including diabetes, Sjögren’s syndrome, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and rheumatoid arthritis can all increase the risk of xerostomia. Sometimes it can be caused by nerve damage to the head and neck area.
Reducing the Impact of Dry Mouth on Your Dental Health
If you do have dry mouth, then we can recommend preventative dental care treatments to reduce the impact to your dental health. You can buy over-the counter saliva substitutes or we can give you a prescription. Some people find it helpful to suck sugar-free gum or sweets to help stimulate saliva production and make sure you drink plenty of water and are always well hydrated. If you think a prescription medication might be the cause then have a talk with your GP to see if anything can be changed.