Preventing Bad Breath & Tonsil Stones
Bad breath (also known as Halitosis) is a hugely common problem, going on to affect around a quarter of people at some point in their life. Bad breath has a wide range of causes: from the side effects of certain medications through to bacteria and tonsil stones.
Here we take a look at the most common culprits and what you can do to avoid suffering from bad breath.
What is Bad Breath?
Bad breath also known as halitosis is a common problem that can affect anyone of any age and there’s a wide range of potential causes. In fact, bad breath is such a common issue it is thought that around a quarter of all adults will suffer halitosis on a regular basis at some point in life.
While bad breath isn’t a serious health condition in itself (long suffering family members and partners may well disagree here), it can however indicate that there is a far more severe health issue at hand. So it is important to consult with your GP if you you have persistently bad breath that lasts more than 6 weeks.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath can be caused by a variety of factors with the most common being poor oral hygiene (not brushing your teeth properly), all the way through to a bacterial infection or something more serious.
Other causes of bad breath include:
- Smoking tobacco
- Drinking too much alcohol
- Drinking too much coffee
- Tonsil stones
- Having a dry mouth (xerostomia)
- Side effects of other medication
Treating Bad Breath and Halitosis
There are many ways to treat bad breath and these include a variety of over the counter solutions that can help you in dealing with the symptoms. Pharmacies will tend to supply halitosis sufferers with an antiseptic oral solution that will help to neutralise some of the processes that cause bad breath.
It is often said (mainly by old wives) that a bout of bad breath can be treated by drinking a mixture of water and lemon juice. However, due to the highly acidic nature of lemons this is not advisable!
Just like coffee and fruit juices, the high acidity levels can actually contribute towards bad breath in the long run. It goes without saying that if you are being treated for halitosis, then it would be wise to stay away from the coffee, cigarettes and garlic.
If you do need more information your dentist or oral hygienist will be able to provide you with the advice needed to maintain good oral health.
Home Remedies for Quick Bad Breath Relief:
- Brushing and flossing your teeth
- Occasionally brushing with Baking Soda can help to neutralise the excess acids in your mouth
- Rinsing your mouth out with mouthwash after eating
- Gargle with salt water
Bad Breath: A Sign of Something More Serious?
If you feel like you are suffering from persistent bad breath that lasts more than 6 weeks then you should definitely go and see your GP to make sure there isn’t another underlying health issue. Some examples include:
- Tonsil Stones (Tonsilloliths)
- Gum disease
- Tooth decay
- Lung and throat infections
Tonsil Stones and Bad Breath
One common cause of persistently bad breath is tonsil stones (tonsilloliths). Tonsil stones are highly unpleasant and are generally caused by an accumulation of sulfur-producing bacteria and debris that become lodged the throat.
Tonsil stones often take the form of painful little lumps of calcified debris (or stones) that become lodged in the crevices (tonsil crypts) at the back of the throat. Symptoms of tonsil stones can be quite painful and often include one of the following:
- Bad breath
- Sore throat
- White debris
- Difficulty swallowing
- Swollen tonsils
Tonsil Stones Treatments & Prevention
The good news is that tonsil stones often clear up of their own accord meaning they usually wont require immediate medical attention, however more serious cases will usually involve surgical removal of the tonsils, although this is usually only a suitable option for people who suffer from chronic tonsil ailments on a regular basis.
The best way to treat and control tonsil stones is to maintain a good oral health regieme and cut down on unhealthy habits such as smoking or drinking too much alcohol.
How Your Local Pharmacy Can Help?
Visit your local pharmacy and they will recommend the right products to help treat the symptoms, alternatively if you need further help they will signpost you to visit your GP or dentist as necessary.
If you need further advice on treating the symptoms of Bad Breath or have other health related questions then please visit our Pharmacy Locator to find your nearest Alphega Pharmacy and ask for advice.
Suffering from bad breath? Your local pharmacist can help
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