14 February 2018
By Bryan Smyth
Dentists have urged budding romantics who suffer from halitosis or chronic bad breath to try and get it treated ahead of Valentine’s Day. Twenty five per cent of the population suffer from the condition which affects men and women equally. However women are more likely to seek treatment for the condition more quickly than men.
Cork based dentist Dr Mairead Browne said that in most cases the condition is easily treatable.
“The issue very often is that people do not realise they have this condition and of course if that is the case they won’t bother seeking treatment. Not alone can it cause major embarrassment and disappointment for people on big dates but it can also be a sign of gum disease. If you think this may be the case for a friend or family member you should mention it to them privately. It will help them health wise, socially and even professionally” Dr Browne said.
In eighty-five per cent of cases the origin of the foul odour is the oral cavity. One of the warning signs of gum disease is persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth. Periodontal or gum disease is caused by plaque, the sticky, colourless film of bacteria that constantly forms on teeth. The bacteria create toxins that irritate the gums.
Dentists believe that new diet plans and the fact that people are retaining their natural teeth longer are two of the factors contributing to an increase in the incidence of halitosis. Dr Browne says maintaining a good oral health regime is key to preventing bad breath.
“People should brush their teeth twice a day, floss once a day, drink plenty of water, use mouth rinse and avoid trigger foods such as garlic and onions. Smoking is clearly bad for your health but also for your breath, as is alcohol and coffee. If the problem persists visit your dentist as halitosis can sometimes be a sign of a more serious underlying condition. Eighty per cent of all Irish adults qualify for a free annual examination so if concerned, just make an appointment with your dentist” she concluded.