London City Smiles

Halitosis: The science behind bad breath

As far as oral issues go, halitosis (bad breath) is one of the most difficult to deal with. After all, nobody wants to be known as a person with bad breath, and it can affect your confidence and even have a negative impact on your close relationships. Here, we take a closer look at what halitosis is, what causes it, and how you can treat it. We also explain how London City Smiles can help you restore your confidence and get to the bottom of what is causing your bad breath in the first place. 


What is halitosis?

Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. Statistics show that approximately 25% of people complain of bad breath, highlighting just how significant the issue of halitosis is. Some people have temporary halitosis – perhaps after a garlicky or spicy meal – while others have bad breath on a daily basis and may not even know that they have it. Given that halitosis can cause anxiety and may even affect your personal relationships, it’s important to understand the root causes of bad breath, as we explore below.


What causes bad breath? 

The primary cause of bad breath is bacteria that is present on the teeth and around the gums. The vast majority of halitosis cases are associated with poor oral hygiene, gum disease, and a condition known as dry mouth (xerostomia). Dry mouth occurs when the salivary glands are unable to produce sufficient levels of moisture within the mouth. Some people also suffer from halitosis because of respiratory infections like sinusitis or bronchitis, while gastrointestinal diseases may also result in bad breath for a small number of people. 

Equally, your lifestyle and the way you care for your teeth and gums can also contribute to halitosis. Eating certain foods like garlic and onions can cause bad breath, while smoking cigarettes is another big cause of the condition. Failing to brush your teeth twice a day and poor dental practices can also cause halitosis, so it’s really important to stay on top of your oral hygiene.


How to treat halitosis?

A trip to the supermarket or your local chemist will reveal to you a huge range of products that promise to treat halitosis and provide you with minty fresh breath. But the reality is that many shop-bought products don’t treat the root cause of the problem and are only a temporary solution. To treat halitosis, you need to make sure that you understand what is causing your bad breath in the first place, as it can be caused by many different things. Therefore, your first port of call should be a trip to the dentist or dental hygienist to seek advice.

An experienced clinician will help you trace the root cause of your bad breath and help you identify practical, long-term solutions that will give you back your confidence. For instance, a hygienist can thoroughly clean your teeth and provide you with an action plan for improving your daily oral hygiene, which will help you treat your halitosis going forwards. Ultimately, halitosis can be treated, so it’s important not to suffer from bad breath in silence. 


Get treatment for halitosis today 

At London City Smiles, our compassionate team of dentists and hygienists are perfectly positioned to offer personalised solutions to treat halitosis and offer an action plan for improving your oral hygiene. Schedule an appointment at our Islington clinic today by calling us on 020 7837 2300 or by booking online.