5 simple tips to get rid of bad breath. Bad breath can be embarrassing and in some cases may even cause anxiety. It’s a common problem caused by a number of factors.
Bad breath also known as Halitosis, typically originates when bacteria grow on bits of food stuck in your teeth, which release foul-smelling sulfur compounds. However, there are symptoms one needs to look out for.
Symptoms Of Bad Breath
Mouth odours vary, depending on the source or the underlying cause. Some people worry too much about their breath even though they have little or no mouth odour, while others have bad breath and don’t know it.
Because it’s difficult to assess how your own breath smells, it’s important to feel free and ask close friend or relative to confirm your bad-breath questions.
Possible Causes Of Bad Breath
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. After you digest these foods, they enter your bloodstream, are carried to your lungs and affect your breath.
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) forms on your teeth.
If not brushed away, plaque can irritate your gums and eventually form plaque-filled pockets between your teeth and gums (periodontitis). Your tongue also can trap bacteria that produce odours.
Dentures that aren’t cleaned regularly or don’t fit properly can harbour odour-causing bacteria and food particles.
Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, removing particles that cause bad odours. A condition called dry mouth or xerostomia can contribute to bad breath because production of saliva is decreased.
Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep, leading to “morning breath,” and it worsens if you sleep with your mouth open. Chronic dry mouth can be caused by a problem with your salivary glands and some diseases.
Medications: Some medications can indirectly produce bad breath by contributing to dry mouth. Others can be broken down in the body to release chemicals that can be carried on your breath.
Infections in your mouth: Bad breath can be caused by surgical wounds after oral surgery, such as tooth removal, or as a result of tooth decay, gum disease or mouth sores.
Other mouth, nose and throat conditions: Bad breath can occasionally stem from small stones that form in the tonsils and are covered with bacteria that produce odour.
Infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat, which can contribute to postnasal drip, also can cause bad breath.
Diseases, such as some cancers, and conditions such as metabolic disorders, can cause a distinctive breath odor as a result of chemicals they produce.
Chronic reflux of stomach acids gastroesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD can be associated with bad breath.
Bad breath in young children can be caused by a foreign body, such as a piece of food, lodged in a nostril.
Also, infections, poor oral hygiene, diabetes complications, and renal failure can be other possible causes.
But worry not! Some simple lifestyle changes can easily fix this issue.
- Maintain Good Dental Hygiene
The first step for a good dental hygiene is to brush and floss regularly. Apart from trapped food, the sticky build-up on your teeth called plaque also collects bacteria that cause bad breath.
Brush your teeth at least two times each day, and floss at least once. Don’t overdo things, though. Brushing too hard can wear down your teeth, making them vulnerable to decay.
- Stay Hydrated, Aim For Minimum 8 Glasses Of Water Daily
Dry mouth often causes bad breath because saliva plays a very important role in keeping your mouth clean. Without it, bacteria thrive. This is why breath is typically worse in the morning.
Prevent the dryness by staying hydrated. Drinking clean water, not caffeinated or sugary drinks, throughout the day will help encourage saliva production. Aim for at least eight glasses of water per day.
- Brushing Your Tongue Is Must
Cleaning your tongue can effectively decrease Halitosis-causing compounds. These compounds form on your tongue when bacteria and amino acids combine, emitting an unpleasant smell.
People who have a coated tongue from a significant overgrowth of bacteria may benefit from using a toothbrush that has a built-in tongue cleaner. If your brush can’t reach the back of your tongue, try a tongue scraper.
- Consider Using A Mouth Rinse
Keep in mind that mouth rinse alone is not an effective remedy unless used in addition to regular brushing and flossing.
Other than using store-bought mouth rinse, you can try a mix of water and a few drops of peppermint oil.
Rinsing your mouth with black or green tea can also help, since they suppress the growth of bacteria that cause mouth odour.
- Consider Your Diet
The foods to avoid and the ones that helps. Foods like raw onion or garlic, when ingested and excreted by the lungs, cause Halitosis, so minimize their intake.
Avoiding acidic foods or high-fructose foods cuts down on bad breath too, since acids and sugars increase production of odour-causing bacteria.
Ensure you include whole grains, dark green and orange vegetables, fruits and protein-rich food in your diet. They can curb intestinal upset and increase saliva production.
When To See A Doctor
If your mouth odour persists after making such changes above, see your dentist.
If your dentist suspects a more serious condition is causing your bad breath, he or she may refer you to a physician to find the cause of the odour.