People wanting a special kiss under the mistletoe this Christmas should ensure that their breath is as festively fresh as possible.
Brushing teeth at least twice a day is a great way to banish bad breath because leftover food can become trapped in teeth and this leads to the formation of bacteria, which is the main cause of halitosis.
If regularly brushing and flossing does not beat bad breath then it is possible that there may be a more serious underlying cause, such as gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss and cosmetic dentistry.
Research by Eludril and Elgydium revealed that gum disease is the primary cause of tooth loss after the age of 35 so it is vital that people visit the dentist regularly in order to identify and treat gingivitis.
Oral health experts from Eludril and Elgydium said gum disease can be easily and effectively treated if caught early but prevention is always better than cure so a strict oral hygiene regime is necessary.
They said: "Treatment and prevention are based on a good oral care routine including brushing, flossing and rinsing with an antiseptic mouthwash. If left untreated, gum disease can lead to chronically inflamed gums, receding gums, tooth decay and bad breath."
Symptoms of gum disease include sore gums or swollen gums, bleeding gums and receding gums so if anyone spots these signs then they are advised to consult their dentist immediately.
Receding gums is the most serious symptom as it exposes the root of a tooth and de-stabilise teeth which will result in them falling out or having to be extracted through cosmetic dentistry procedures.
A significant number of women may be putting themselves at risk of gum disease as figures from the NHS Information Centre discovered that the majority of females fear going to the dentist.
The research revealed that 54 per cent of women feel nervous the day before an appointment with their dentist and 57 per cent of females claim they are frightened in the waiting room.
It appears that the older we get, the less concerned we are about going to the dentist as the NHS Information Centre found that only eight per cent of people aged over 65 are extremely anxious about having their teeth checked.
Dr Nigel Carter, chief executive of the Dental Health Foundation charity, told the Daily Mail: "Over the last 20 to 30 years techniques have greatly improved and almost all dentistry is pain free."
Meanwhile, the Guardian reported that Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas considered having his wisdom teeth removed in order to help a hamstring problem.