Bad breath isn’t always necessarily down to poor oral hygiene, it can also be an indication of something far worse such as heart disease, diabetes, and gastrointestinal conditions.
A very ill-informed one in six people is aware that gum disease can increase your risk of stroke or diabetes, and only one in three are aware of the implications linked to heart disease.
Regular dental check-ups can target against gum disease and thus the linked diseases, you should be aware that these diseases have many causes and be conscious of how diet, exercise, and supplements can also help offset the risk.
To put it simply, the bacteria that is associated with periodontal disease: streptococcus sanguinis, is connected to that of coronary heart disease. A build up of this bacteria within eroding or diseased gums will allow it to enter the blood stream and potentially lead to irreversible damage to the heart and circulatory system.
“We recommend you visit the hygienist at least twice a year for routine care, but many patients with active disease will require more, it all depends on the individual case. Regular dental cleanings prevent calculus building up and the gum disease that is associated with the build up. It’s important to get regular dental check-ups so your dentist can diagnose early the onset of tooth decay and gum disease helping you to avoid dental issues such as gum problems, dental pain and bad breath. There is growing evidence linking the build up of dental plaque to a number of other problems, including: heart disease, diabetes, Dementia, Rheumatoid arthritis and Premature birth.” – Dr Harvey Grahame from Smilepod.co.uk
Other surprising causes of bad breath include:
1. Not enough fruit and veg
Eating raw healthy fresh fruit and vegetables can help increase your saliva production and wash away the odour-causing bacteria from the gums, tongue, and teeth. Amongst the best fruit and veg are apples, citrus fruits, celery and carrots.
2. Thirst/dry mouth
When we sleep we produce less saliva than we do when we’re awake – it’s very important to prevent against bad breath as it contains oxygen which inhibits bacteria growth and is a natural antibacterial to help wash away food – make sure you drink plenty of water. Hormones can also play a part in dry mouth so it is important to remain hydrated and seek advice from a dentist should symptoms persist.
3. Bland food
If you’re sticking to eating clean – there’s no harm in adding herbs to the mix for a little flavour – herbs that can help with halitosis include parsley, coriander, cardamom, eucalyptus – and can also be added to smoothies, juices, and tea to quash bad breath.
We all love an injection of coffee but it’s a well-known diuretic which dries out the mouth – bacteria will thrive on the tongue, gums, teeth, and cheeks and is encouraged even more when you add dairy into the mix. Always drink lots of fluids during and after consuming coffee to keep foul breath at bay.
5. Hating the dentist
Avoiding the dentist? Don’t! There are so many caring and conscious dentists who are aware of the number of people with dental fears. Dentists can detect diseases, and help you with any causes of bad breath such as Smilepod’s famous High Gloss Diamond Polish service which doesn’t just remove plaque and tartar from the teeth but helps flush out bacteria and restore teeth to their former glory.
6. Crash Diets
In the early part of the year, many people undertake crash diets like high-protein, low-carb which is excellent for weight loss but not for your mouth! These type of diets encourage the body to burn stored fats instead of using carbs for daily full and therefore lead to a condition called ketosis which makes breath horrendous by releasing unpleasant gases.
7. Alcohol & cigarettes
We all know boozing and puffing on a cigarette are bad for us – but that doesn’t stop us when we’re hell-bent on partying. Our bodies convert alcohol to a less harmful substance called acetic acid – which – surprise surprise- has a pungent whiff. Nicotine and tar from Cigarettes stick to the teeth and stain them; they can also irritate gums, and reduce your sense of smell – which all leads to bad breath over time.
HGDP is £89, walk-in hygienist treatments start from £49 www.smilepod.co.uk
Smilepod has six London locations offering general dentistry, restorative dentistry, orthodontics, teeth whitening, rejuvenation and specialist services.
Bank – 18-20 Cullum Street, EC3M 7JJ
Canada Place – Canary Wharf, E14 5HX
Jubilee Place – Canary Wharf E14 5NY Holborn – 16 Procter Street WC1V 6NX
Moorgate – 24 Chiswell Street, EC1Y 4TY
Soho – 56 Poland Street W1F 7NN