A Dentist, Dr. Innocent Osazuwa, on Wednesday said persistent bad breath or bad taste in the mouth may be a warning sign of gum disease.
Osazuwa, a staff of a hospital in Benin, made the disclosure in an interview with News Agency of Nigeria.
He said: “Gum disease is caused by buildup of plaque on the teeth caused by bacteria.
“Bacteria causes the formation of toxins, which irritates the gum and if gum disease continues untreated, it can damage the gum and the jawbone.”
The dentist said bad breath, also called halitosis, could be embarrassing and in some cases might even cause anxiety.
He added: “Bad breath is often caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth that causes inflammation and gives off noxious odour.
“Cleaning between teeth daily once a day is very important.
“This helps to remove plaque and food particles from between the teeth and under the gum line too.
“Tooth decay-causing bacteria still lingers between teeth, where toothbrush bristles cannot reach.”
Osazuwa explained that brushing the teeth twice a day with a soft-bristle brush and replacing toothbrush every three or four months would help to eliminate bad breath.
He noted that the symptoms of bad breath vary, depending on the source or the underlying cause.
According to him, some people worry too much about their breath even though they have little or no mouth odour, while others have bad breath and do not know it.
Osazuwa said the causes of bad breath include food, poor dental hygiene, use of tobacco products, the lack of balanced diet, wrong medications, dry mouth and the lack of drinking water.
He advised anyone with such problem to see a dentist for treatment.