People hoping to get a festive kiss under the mistletoe need to make sure they look after their gums, or they may just be in line for emergency dentistry.
This is the advice of oral health products manufacturer Eludril and Elgydium, which told Dentistry.co.uk that a quick swish of mouthwash is not enough to prevent bad breath, as it may be down to gum disease.
"This can be remedied by brushing your teeth after every meal to remove food particles from your mouth. You should also floss once a day and brush your tongue," the company said.
Early gum disease, the symptoms of which include bleeding gums, can be treated easily, but advanced cases may require emergency dentistry.
Regular check-ups could help patients to spot gum disease.
In October 2010, Dr Bianca Flora, an oral health specialist in the US, told the CT Post that a soft brush or an electric model may help in the fight against gum disease.