Ten facts About Bad Breath

February 1st, 2014UncategorizedComments:0

Word of Mouth
British Dental Health Foundation


1. Bad breath is usually caused by the smelly gases released by bacteria that coat teeth, gums and tongue.

2. Bad breath may be a warning sign of potential gum disease – the main cause of tooth loss.

3. Some medical problems may also be the cause of bad breath including sinusitis, bronchitis, diabetes, liver or kidney problems, and infections of the nose, throat and lungs.

4. Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) is a medical condition that affects the flow of saliva and can result in bad breath caused by a build-up of bacteria. Older people, pregnant or menopausal women and people taking medication are more susceptible to Dry Mouth.

5. Breathing continually through the mouth, rather than the nose, will increase the chances of developing bad breath.

6. Strong smelling foods like garlic, coffee and onions are well-known causes of bad breath.

7. Food caught between teeth is a cause of bad breath.

8. Dentures are susceptible to plaque and a cause of bad breath if not cleaned properly.

9. Brushing only cleans up to 60 per cent of the surface of teeth and is unlikely to eradicate bad breath.

10. All smokers have bad breath.

In addition to Foundation’s three key rules for good oral health, these following tips are recommended for fresher breath


1. To test if you have bad breath, simply lick the inside of your wrist, let it dry and sniff. If the smell is bad, you can be fairly sure you have bad breath.

2. Clean in between your teeth with ‘interdental’ brushes or floss. This will help clean all parts of the tooth and remove food caught between teeth.

3. Don’t forget to brush your tongue, or use a tongue scraper.

4. Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate saliva to help prevent your mouth from drying out.

5. If your bad breath continues, visit your dentist or hygienist for advice and cleaning tips.

For free, confidential and impartial advice about how to improve your oral care, contact the Foundation’s Dental Helpline on 0845 063 1188 or email: helpline@dentalhealth.org.
Alternatively, visit the Tell Me About section of the Foundation’s website at www.dentalhealth.org/tell-me-about/topic/caring-for-teeth/diet.