Welcome to the OutUK series looking at gay men and their health brought to you in association with NHS Choices.
Each week we'll tackle a different topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. We'll have features and advice on everything from relationships, sexual health, mental and physical conditions and how to stay fit. You can follow any of links provided below for more information direct from the nhs.uk website.
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This Week - B : Bad Breath

Bad breath is a common problem that can affect anyone at any age.

About one in four people are thought to have bad breath (halitosis) on a regular basis.

What causes bad breath?

There are a number of things that can cause bad breath. It's usually the result of poor oral hygiene. If bacteria build up in your mouth, the toxins produced can cause your breath to smell. 

Bacteria break down pieces of food in the mouth, and may release an unpleasant-smelling gas. Any food trapped on your teeth - particularly between them - is broken down by bacteria, which may cause bad breath.

Persistent bad breath can sometimes be a sign of gum disease. Eating strongly flavoured foods, such as onions and garlic, can also cause your breath to smell, as can smoking and drinking alcohol.

Occasionally, bad breath can occur after an infection or illness, or as a result of taking certain types of medication.

Read more about the causes of bad breath.

Treating and preventing bad breath

Improving your oral hygiene is usually enough to cure bad breath and stop it happening again.

To improve your oral health, make sure you:

  • floss between your teeth daily
  • brush your teeth and gums¬†regularly
  • clean your tongue regularly

Read more about treating and preventing bad breath.

When to seek medical advice

See your dentist, dental hygienist or dental therapist first if you still have bad breath after making changes to improve your dental hygiene.

You may also need to visit your GP as there may be a medical cause that needs to be investigated.

Don't try to hide the smell of your breath when seeking medical advice as it may make it more difficult to find out what's causing the problem.

We'll have more information and advice next week on another topic in our A to Z of Gay Health. You can also view our Previous Features.

If you want to find out more about this week's subject you can visit the Original article on NHS Choices website. If you are worried by any aspect of your health make sure you go and see your doctor or book an appointment at your local clinic.

Photos: LightFieldStudios and VladOrlov.

 

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