Can a dentist help with bad breath?

At Smil, we are dedicated to helping you achieve not only a beautiful smile but also excellent oral health. One often overlooked aspect of oral health is bad breath, also known as halitosis.

Bad breath is a common concern that can impact your confidence and social interactions. You may be wondering whether a dentist can help with your bad breath.

Let us talk you through what causes bad breath, the symptoms to look out for and when you should seek professional help at our Chatham practice.

Symptoms of bad breath

Identifying bad breath in yourself can be tricky, as our noses often become accustomed to our own scent. However, if you notice any of the following symptoms, you’re likely dealing with bad breath:

– Unpleasant or foul odour coming from your mouth
– A persistent bad taste
– White or yellow coating on the tongue
– A thick, sticky feeling or dryness in the mouth
– Increased plaque buildup or gum inflammation
– Visible food particles stuck between teeth

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused by various factors, both common and less known. Understanding the cause of your bad breath can help to find an effective solution. 

Poor oral hygiene

The most common cause of bad breath is inadequate oral hygiene. When you don’t brush or floss regularly, food particles and bacteria accumulate in the mouth, leading to unpleasant odours.

Bacteria in your mouth

Your mouth is a breeding ground for bacteria that thrive on leftover food and plaque, producing a foul-smelling odour. 

Dry mouth

Saliva plays a crucial role in cleansing your mouth and neutralising acids. A dry mouth, caused by medications, medical conditions or dehydration, can result in bad breath as it reduces saliva production.


What you eat can directly impact your breath. Foods like garlic and onion can linger in your mouth and cause bad breath.


Smoking can not only stain your teeth but also contribute to bad breath. Tobacco can leave a lingering odour that is difficult to mask.

Medical conditions

Certain medical conditions, such as respiratory infections or diabetes, can lead to chronic bad breath.

At-home treatments for bad breath

There are several at-home treatments and habits you can adopt to help combat your bad breath, such as:

Improve your oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, using fluoride toothpaste, and don’t forget to floss daily. Consider using an antibacterial mouthwash to kill odour-causing bacteria. For more tips on taking care of your teeth at home, please click here.

Clean your tongue. Use your toothbrush to gently clean your tongue’s surface. Bacteria can accumulate here and contribute to bad breath.

Stay hydrated. Staying hydrated helps to maintain an adequate flow of saliva, cleansing your mouth and neutralising acids.

Chew sugar-free gum. Limit consumption of foods with strong odours, and consider chewing sugar-free gum or mints to stimulate saliva production.

Quit smoking. If you’re a smoker, quitting can significantly improve your breath and overall health.

Good dental hygiene is not just about achieving fresh breath but also about maintaining overall oral health. Neglecting oral hygiene can lead to serious dental problems, including cavities, gum disease and tooth loss. By following the tips above and cleaning your teeth and your mouth properly, you can enjoy fresh breath and a healthy smile.

Can a dentist help with bad breath?

While occasional bad breath is common, persistent or chronic bad breath requires professional intervention. 

At Smil, we would advise booking an appointment with our experienced dentists if your bad breath persists despite improved oral hygiene. You should also visit our practice if you notice any unusual changes in your mouth or throat, and if your bad breath is accompanied by pain or swelling. Our dentists will take the time to identify the underlying cause of your oral health issues and recommend an appropriate treatment plan.

If you’re noticing signs of bad breath, call our friendly team today on 01634 756 536 to book an appointment.

Professional treatment for bad breath

If at-home treatments aren’t effective, or your bad breath is related to an underlying dental or medical condition, you should seek professional treatment. At Smil, our compassionate dentists may suggest the following solutions:

Routine appointments and cleanings. Regular dental cleanings and check-ups are essential for removing plaque and tartar buildup, which can contribute to bad breath.

Treatment of gum disease. If gum disease is causing your bad breath, our dentists will help you to tackle it.

Addressing oral health issues. Cavities, damaged fillings and other dental concerns can cause a build-up of bacteria. Restorative dentistry can address these issues and improve your breath.

Dental tips for fresh breath throughout the day

To keep your breath pleasant throughout the day, you should:

– Brush after meals
– Carry sugar-free gum with you
– Drink water regularly
– Avoid sugary and acidic drinks

Don’t let bad breath hold you back

Bad breath, while common, can be embarrassing and impact your self-esteem. Understanding its causes and how to treat it can help you regain your confidence. Maintaining good oral hygiene and seeking professional help when needed are essential steps towards conquering halitosis.

If you’re struggling with persistent bad breath or have concerns about your oral health, let our experienced dentists help. Please call our team in Chatham as soon as possible on 01634 756 536 to book an appointment. 

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Smil, Unit 69-70, Dockside Outlet Shopping Centre, Maritime Way, St Mary's Island, Chatham, ME4 3ED

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