Professionally, we recommend the use of specific types of mouthwash, depending on the dental problem that a person has. However, the types of mouthwash that we have on the market are meant to strengthen the gums and keep bad bacteria away.
Note that once the gums are weak, the teeth will equally be affected.
Many people who have bad breath have gone ahead to use these types of mouthwash, without establishing if they are the best for their teeth.
It is always best to use a mouthwash that is recommended by a dentist or physician.
A person should not use a mouthwash with the hope that it will take away bad breath. Instead, a mouthwash acts like a supplement to any treatment that the dentist administers.
If a person has bad breath, they need to first undergo a systematic dental check-up to establish the cause of the bad breath.
If this is done, then the dentist can treat the problem, depending on the outcome of the examination.
Bad breath can be caused by several factors including poor teeth and tongue brushing techniques, gum diseases caused by infections in the mouth, use of tobacco, and conditions such as kidney and liver diseases.
Having decayed teeth (teeth with cavities or holes), use of garlic or onions, infections of the throat and sinuses can also lead to bad breath.
•If the bad breath is caused by any of the above factors, a person will need to get treatment based on the specific cause of the problem. This will include brushing the teeth, tongue and gums at least twice a day.
•Flossing: A dentist can guide and educate you on how to floss your teeth from home.
•Filling of teeth with cavities (holes) is also another way to manage the problem.
•Regular visits to the dentist, at least twice a year is recommended, so that a person can have their oral health examined and teeth cleaned professionally, if necessary.
•Drink plenty of water every day to encourage saliva production, since a dry mouth is one of the causes of bad breath.
•Use sugar free gum. This, however only gives you a fresh breath for a limited period of time.
The writer is a dentist