Ask The Expert:Synergy Dental: What causes bad breath and how do you treat it?
9th January 2014
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Having bad breath is an embarrassing problem that none of us like to admit to having, but how can you keep your mouth clean and smelling fine? Dr Zuber Bagasi of Synergy Dental is here to explain.

Halitosis or bad breath can really affect your confidence. You can alleviate it for a short time by chewing gum or toothpaste, but here’s how you can get rid of it for good.

Bad breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth no being brushed or cleaned properly over a long duration of time. The bacteria then forms a layer of biofilm anywhere it can, such as the back of the throat, under gums and grooves in the tongue. This layer protects existing bacteria and encourages more to grow.

This is why chewing gum or a short gargling of mouthwash won’t remove any horrible smells. You need to brush your teeth 2 times a day, preferably in the morning and at night before you go to sleep, for a minimum of 2 minutes every time.

A manual toothbrush is just as effective as an electric toothbrush providing you have the correct brushing technique. The right brushing technique is

  • Hitting every surface of the teeth
  • Cleaning the gum line
  • Flossing at least once a day


Looking after gums and flossing are just as important as brushing teeth. Flossing will dislodge any food or bacteria stuck under the gum line and bad breath, which can cause bad breath.


Bacteria love the grooves of tongues you try and brush that for at least half a minute as well. Tongue scrappers are available, although some people find them uncomfortable (they do take a bit of getting used to) but a toothbrush is just as effective. You’ll feel the difference straightaway.


Lots of people use mouthwash as an immediate blast of freshness. Antibacterial mouthwashes only work though if you have cleaned your mouth properly before using them. Don’t count on it to do all the work for you. Use mouthwash to top up your existing oral hygiene routine and keep on flossing and brushing. If you suffer from really bad breath, brush and floss after every meal, because food is a trigger for bad breath.


Here’s a summary of everything I’ve just outlined:


  • Brush twice a day for 2 minutes every time
  • Floss once a day to remove bacteria and trapped food.
  • Brush your tongue for 30 seconds once a day
  • Remember mouthwash and chewing gum will help but won’t do everything for you
  • Drink lots of water and avoid sugary drinks
  • Have regular check-ups with your dentist who can check for any problems
  • Stop smoking


For more information, please call Synergy Dental on 01204 684037. 

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