Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be embarrassing and may even cause anxiety. But, rather than focus on letting it have the most of your day, is better to know its causes and the simple remedies:
FOOD: The breakdown of food particles in and around your teeth can increase bacteria and cause a foul odour. Eating certain foods, such as onions, garlic and spices also can cause bad breath as well.
TOBACCO PRODUCTS: Smoking causes its own unpleasant mouth odour. Smokers and oral tobacco users are also more likely to have gum disease, another source of bad breath.
POOR DENTAL HYGIENE: If you don’t brush and floss daily, food particles remain in your mouth, causing bad breath. A colourless, sticky film of bacteria (plaque) also forms on your teeth. If not brushed away, plaque can irritate your gums and eventually form plaque-filled pockets between your teeth and gums.
DRY MOUTH: Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, removing particles that cause bad odours. A condition called dry mouth or xerostomia can contribute to bad breath because the production of saliva is decreased.
- Brush your teeth after you eat and always brush your tongue too.
- Floss at least once a day. Flossing helps prevent cavities and gum disease. Proper flossing removes food particles and plaque from between your teeth, helping to control bad breath.
- Drink plenty of water to avoid dry mouth. To keep your mouth moist, avoid tobacco and drink plenty of water — not coffee, soft drinks or alcohol, which can lead to a drier mouth.
- Schedule regular dental checkups. See your dentist regularly — generally twice a year — to have your teeth or dentures examined and cleaned.