Many of us have worried from time to time that we may have bad breath. Have you noticed people stepping back a little when you talk to them, has someone turned their cheek as you moved to kiss them? A simple test is just to lick the inside of your wrist and sniff; if it smells bad you can be fairly certain your breath does too.
Bad breath is a very common problem; it may just be transient due to particularly pungent meal that you have just had. Persistent bad breath is usually caused by the smelly gases released by the bacteria that coat your teeth, gums and tongue. Also, bits of food that get caught between the teeth and on the tongue will rot and can sometimes cause an unpleasant smell. Strong foods like garlic, coffee and onions can add to the problem as will smoking. So it is very important to brush your teeth correctly and regularly. This will help keep your breath smelling fresh.
Bad breath can also be caused by some medical problems. Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a condition that means your mouth produces less saliva. This causes bacteria to build up in your mouth and this leads to bad breath. Dry mouth may be caused by some medicines, by salivary gland problems or by continually breathing through your mouth instead of your nose. Older people may produce less saliva, causing further problems. Other medical conditions that cause bad breath include infections in the throat, nose or lungs; sinusitis; bronchitis; diabetes; or liver or kidney problems.
If you do have bad breath, you will need to start a routine for keeping your mouth clean and fresh. Regular check-ups will allow your dentist to watch out for any places where plaque is caught between your teeth and he will be able to clean all those areas that are difficult to reach.