Bad breath is a problem which is faced by almost everybody, even those people who don’t care to admit it. While chronic bad breath (also known as halitosis) can have more serious causes, occasional bad breath can be prevented quite easily with good medical care.
What are common causes of bad breath?
If you are suffering from chronic or severe bad breath which is also known as halitosis, it is important to find out the cause, so that you can have an effective treatment.
Halitosis has many causes, including the following:
- Tobacco use - If you smoke, quit. Your bad breath may be due to other causes, too, but tobacco use is a guarantee of bad breath. If you have made up your mind to quit, ask your doctor for advice and support.
- What you eat, or don't eat - Certain food items, such as garlic contribute to bad breath, but temporarily. Because, when they go into the bloodstream, the smell is goes out through the breath, but the odors remain until the body processes the food, so there’s no quick fix.
- Dry mouth - If your mouth is very dry, there is not enough saliva to wash away extra food particles and bacteria, which can further cause an unpleasant smell if they build up on the teeth.
- Infections - Bad breath that seems to have no other cause may show an infection elsewhere in the body. If you are having chronic bad breath and your dentist pulls out any oral problem, see your doctor for check up.
Bad breath can be a sign of a variety of conditions which includes respiratory tract infections
, chronic sinusitis
, diabetes, or liver and kidney problems, so the problem shouldn’t be ignored.
The best way to improve bad breath is to follow an oral care routine which includes twice-daily tooth brushing and daily flossing to remove the food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath.
Mouthwashes have the ability to enhance bad breath, but for the short term, and if you have a chronic problem, your dentist may advise an antimicrobial rinse to help keep bacteria at bay.
Ways to protect against bad breath
- Brush your teeth for two minutes twice a day to remove plaque bacteria. Follow up with a good tongue brushing. Special attention should be provided to the back of your tongue, where most odour-causing bacteria are found.
- Floss effectively to help remove food particles. If reaching your back teeth is difficult, a floss holder can help.
- Use a mouthwash that fights with bad breath to keep your mouth at its freshest.
- Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated. The amount of water you need shall vary based on your daily activity level and the number of medications you take that cause dry mouth.
- Chew sugarless gum to stimulate saliva production. Eating a mint is a temporary but less advised method for breath freshening because it can leave a sugary residue behind.
- Chronic bad breath can be a sign of a more serious condition, so you should consult a dental professional if you have so.
- Know about the food items that can cause bad breath.