Bad breath

If you have bad breath, you’re not alone. Bad breath, sometimes called halitosis, is a common problem that can affect people of any age. The good news is that there are plenty of things that you can do to deal with it.

If bad breath persists, it’s important to see your dentist. They can find out what’s causing it, give you advice on how to manage it or offer treatment if needed.

What is bad breath?

Bad breath is an unpleasant odour or taste in the mouth, caused by a build-up of plaque or bacteria. It’s a common condition faced by individuals right across the globe.

Having bad breath can be embarrassing, can even cause anxiety, and can come and go seemingly without any explanation at any time of life.  

While there are many products - including chewing gum, mouthwash and fresh breath strips aimed at tackling the symptoms of bad breath, few actually address the root of the issue.

What causes bad breath?

Most causes of bad breath begin in the mouth and relate to poor oral hygiene or other lifestyle habits. There are many causes of bad breath, including: 

How to get rid of bad breath

In many cases, you can tackle bad breath with proper dental hygiene or regular visits to your dentist or hygienist, who may be able to identify the cause of your halitosis and recommend a reliable course of action. There are also several self-care techniques relating to your day-to-day oral hygiene, eating habits, and other aspects of your daily life which may improve the freshness of your breath.  

  • Brush your teeth and gums thoroughly, twice a day for two minutes
  • Clean the surface of your tongue with a brush or tongue cleaner
  • Use dental floss or interdental brushes to remove plaque (a thin, sticky film that coats your teeth and contains bacteria) and food from between your teeth.
  • If you smoke, try and stop
  • Avoid eating strong-smelling foods (such as onions, coffee and garlic)
  • Drink plenty of water – water helps wash away food particles and bacteria that are a primary cause of bad breath
  • See a hygienist regularly. They can give your mouth a deep clean and remove any plaque or bacteria. A hygienist can also give you tailored oral health advice to help you look after your mouth at home
  • Be sure to follow your dentist or hygienist’s advice carefully and if you have any questions, just ask

How a dentist can help with bad breath

If your breath isn’t getting better, see your dentist. They’ll do a thorough check-up of your teeth and gums to make sure you don’t have any underlying infections or dental conditions such as gum disease.

If your dentist can’t find out what’s causing your bad breath or thinks it’s caused by a medical condition or medication, they may suggest you see your GP.

Take control of your oral health

Staying on top of your dental health and hygiene is important, especially if you have symptoms of poor oral health such as bad breath. With Bupa Smile Plan, you can benefit from regular dental check-ups and hygienist appointments, split into manageable monthly payments, for a fresher, healthier smile that lasts a lifetime.  

Speak to your local practice

If you want to get rid of bad breath, the first step is to book an appointment at your local Bupa Dental Care practice. Your dentist can check for any oral health problems and provide recommendations and treatments if needed.

Contact your local practice today

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Bupa Dental Care is a trading name of Oasis Dental Care Limited. Registered in England and Wales No: 00478127. Registered office: Bupa Dental Care, Vantage Office Park, Old Gloucester Road, Hambrook, Bristol, United Kingdom BS16 1GW.

Oasis Dental Care Limited has a number of trading names including Bupa Dental Care. For a list of all our different trading names please follow this link.

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