Kiss goodbye to bad breath

When the clock strikes 12 on New Year’s Eve, it’s time to lean in for that special kiss. But if you’re like one in three people who suffer from halitosis, there are steps you can take to ensure bad breath doesn’t ruin your moment.

Australian Dental Association SA Branch Spokesman Dr Angelo Papageorgiou says in many cases bad breath – or halitosis – is an easily treatable condition.

“Bad breath is often caused by the breakdown of oral bacteria,” Dr Papageorgiou says. “This can be caused by what we eat and drink and whether or not we smoke.”

Dr Papageorgiou says brushing twice a day with fluoridated toothpaste and making sure to floss at least once every day can improve your breath.

He also encouraged people to have a balanced diet and drink plenty of tap water.

“While there’s the temptation to indulge over the Silly Season, having a diet comprising of the five food groups (fruit, vegetables, grain, dairy, lean meat and poultry), limiting sugary foods and drinking plenty of fluoridated tap water will make a big difference in terms of your oral health.”

Regular visits to the dentist are another essential in reducing bad breath, he says.

“In 90 percent of cases, bad breath is due to poor oral hygiene and gum disease such as gingivitis and periodontitis, so it’s important you visit the dentist regularly for professional cleaning and a check-up.”

In cases where bad breath was the result of a medical condition outside of the mouth, your dentist can refer you to an appropriate specialist, Dr Papageorgiou says.

“About ten percent of the time, bad breath is caused by something completely unrelated to the mouth. When this happens, your dentist will be able to work with your doctor to determine the cause.”