The A-Z of Family Dentistry: H is for Halitosis

The A-Z of Family Dentistry

In the A-Z of family dentistry, each month we ask our dentists to address a different dental concern.  This month it’s all about halitosis, and what you can do about it.

Halitosis is the medical term given to bad breath. Though bad breath is often caused by not brushing your teeth properly or eating something particularly pungent, it can also be a symptom of some dental or medical conditions.

What can cause halitosis?

The most common cause of halitosis is poor dental hygiene. However, there are some other conditions and factors that can contribute to bad breath. These include:

  • Gum disease
  • Smoking
  • Drinking alcohol
  • Crash diets
  • Xerostomia (dry mouth)
  • Gastrointestinal conditions
  • Diabetes
  • Bronchitis
  • Tonsillitis
  • Sinusitis

How can halitosis be treated?

The best way to treat halitosis depends on it’s root cause. If there is another medical condition to blame, such as bronchitis or diabetes, getting that under control is the best first step.

Alternatively, you may decide to cut down on smoking or drinking alcohol. If you’ve developed halitosis as a result of a crash diet, you may want to consider trying a healthier eating regime.

One of the simplest ways to treat halitosis is to improve your dental hygiene routine. Flossing regularly will help to remove any food that has got stuck between your teeth. Thorough brushing will help to fight against plaque and bacteria, which are often the main culprits of bad breath.

Want to find out more?

You can read more about halitosis and what causes it on the NHS website.

Alternatively, please do get in touch if you’re suffering from halitosis and you’d like some advice on counteracting it.

Next month in the A-Z of family dentistry, we’ll be moving onto the letter ‘I’. Subscribe to our dental newsletter to make sure you don’t miss it.