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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.

This usually happens when your mouth doesn’t have enough space for all your teeth to grow through.

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.

What causes bad breath?

Several things can lead to bad breath. One of the main causes is poor oral hygiene . If you don’t look after your mouth properly, bacteria and food can build up around your teeth and gums.

Other causes include gum disease, smoking and eating strong-smelling foods. Some types of medicines and health conditions such as dry mouth, diabetes, infections and stomach problems can also cause bad breath.


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How to get rid of bad breath

If you have bad breath, there are certain things that you can do at home to help:

  • 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

Watch our video on how to brush your teeth properly.

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.

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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Many images and videos used throughout our website were taken before the COVID-19 outbreak and therefore do not represent COVID best practices.

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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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