Chances are at one stage or another you’ve encountered or personally experienced bad breath. Caused by bacteria that live in the mouth, bad breath (also known as halitosis) is very common, but often preventable using some very simple strategies.
Here’s an insight into the best ways to beat bad breath so you can banish it from your life.
What causes bad breath?
At its simplest, bad breath is caused by natural bacteria that live in the mouth. They feed on protein that’s found in common foods we consume such as meat, fish and dairy. As they go about breaking these down, they release a waste product with a sulpher-like odour.
It’s a totally natural and normal part of the body’s digestive process, but equally easy to fix.
Brush and floss regularly
The best way to stop these bacteria building up is to pay attention to your dental hygiene. That means brushing your teeth thoroughly for two minutes twice daily and flossing at least once a day.
Regular brushing and flossing removes any food residue trapped in your mouth or between your teeth. Meanwhile, mouthwash can also be useful, although it’s important to remember, if you are not brushing and flossing adequately, mouthwash masks, rather than eliminates, the odour.
Brush your tongue
These bacteria are happy to live pretty much anywhere in your mouth, so don’t neglect your tongue when it comes to your daily dental hygiene routine.
After you brush your teeth, give your tongue a scrape or brush, especially in the morning when bacteria may have built up overnight.
Watch your diet
The type of foods we eat contribute to the build-up of bacteria, while some commonly consumed foods like onion and garlic also mimic the smell of bad breath.
It’s a good idea to wash these foods down with plenty of water or brush after a major meal.
Meanwhile, coffee and alcohol slow down the production of saliva, which means bacteria have an environment they can thrive in.
See your dentist
While the majority of bad breath is caused by food, halitosis can also be the symptom of a greater dental issue like tooth decay or gum disease.
Be sure to maintain regular dental appointments to check for issues like decay. Meanwhile, checkups also ensure your teeth and gums are thoroughly cleaned.
A dry mouth also contributes to bad breath as it reduces the saliva which can wash the bacteria away.
The likelihood of a dry mouth increases as we age but is also more likely in people who mouth breathe as they sleep and can be a symptom of a greater health issue.
To maintain hydration, ensure you drink sufficient water throughout the day. Chewing sugar-free gum can also be useful in stimulating saliva as it tricks your body into thinking it’s eating. And, if your dry mouth persists, check in with your dentist or doctor to check if something more is behind it
Smoking not only causes bad breath, it also contributes to greater dental issues like gum disease and tooth decay. You can talk to your doctor about quitting the habit, with a wealth of support available to assist you through the process.
Check in with your doctor
If bad breath persists and dental issues like gum disease and decay have been ruled out, it could be worth checking in with your doctor. Bad breath can also be a symptom of other health issues including tonsillitis, while a persistently dry mouth may also be indicative of other long-term health issues.
About Brite Dental
Brite Dental is a community-focused dental practice, committed to ensuring you and your family receive the highest quality of care in a warm and professional environment.
Offering a full range of dental services ranging, from children’s dentistry through to high-end cosmetic dentistry, we are conveniently located in central Panania.