Do you have a bad breath that never seems to leave despite your best efforts? No doubt the scent has embarrassed you a couple of times. The look of utter repulsion on people’s faces when you speak is what you often have to deal with now. Well, resorting to not speak to people is not the solution.
Halitosis is a common condition and is most often caused by a buildup of bacteria in the mouth because of gum disease, food, or plaque. Many causes of bad breath or halitosis boil down to poor oral hygiene. This article looks what you can do if bad breath is often a problem, including some of the foods to avoid.
Importantly, you need to know the causes and symptoms of bad breath. The knowledge will help you remedy the problem as early as possible. But more crucially, you won’t have to learn of your awful stench from your mate’s disgusted look.
So here are some causes and warning signs of impending bad breath.
The symptoms of bad breath and what it can mean
A dry mouth
Saliva is a cleaning agent. It helps remove food particles in the mouth. It is a prerequisite for effective cleaning of the mouth. A dry mouth tends to occur when sleeping. It is even worse when you sleep with your mouth open. The lack of saliva leads to bad mouth odor because the mouth does not get washed efficiently.
Certain medication can lead to bad breath. This could be due to the chemicals they release when they are broken down. Some of those chemicals might be carried in the breath. Furthermore, some medications have the side effect of causing a dry mouth which inevitably leads to bad breath.
Gum disease, tooth decay, cavities or mouth sores all lead to bad breath
Nose and throat infections
Tonsils are a cause of bad breath. The small stones with bacteria emit a foul odor that is carried in the breath. Nose inflammations occasionally lead to bad breath because of the postnasal drip that contributes to the smell of your breath. Postnasal drip is the mucus that flows down the nose into the throat and is actually normal.
Acid reflux in the stomach often imparts a terrible smell to your breath. This is where the stomach acid splashes into the esophagus. Small intestinal bacterial overgrowth also results in putrid burps. The bacteria, H. Pylori can also cause bad breath. Often existing harmlessly in the intestines, it can lead to duodenal ulcers when there is an imbalance.
Poor dental hygiene
When you do not brush teeth and floss on a daily basis, food particles in the mouth begin to give off an unpleasant smell. You also run the risk of developing plaque that can eventually lead to gum disease, another cause of bad breath.
Tobacco and khat usage
Cigarette smoking often leads to an unpleasant odor. Those who chew khat and tobacco also stand a high chance of getting gum disease which is a source of foul breath.
How To Avoid Bad Breath Video
Avoid Certain foods
Onions and garlic are a known source of bad breath. Certain spices also leave a repulsive smell in our mouths.
So how do you go about fixing or preventing bad breath? Here are a few tips to get you a fresh breath and talking confidently again.
Brush and floss, Brush and floss
Brushing and flossing teeth twice a day is usually recommended. It helps in chucking food particles that are stubborn to leave the mouth as well as removing plaque. Do not forget to brush the tongue too. Dentists usually recommend certain toothpaste containing antibacterial agents in case of severe plaque.
See Your Dentist
Seeing the dentist on a regular basis will do wonders for both your teeth and breath. Potential teeth and gum problems will be avoided. When you visit the dentist because you have bad breath, he or she smells both the breath from your mouth and nose to ascertain its severity. A sample of the tongue surface is also be checked and its odor measured on a scale. It is only then that can the dentist can make a recommendation.
Avoid sugary foods
Sugar inhibits saliva formation. It is therefore recommended to take less sugary food and snacks to promote saliva formation. Go for sugar-free candy and gum. The saliva aids in cleansing the mouth.
Drink plenty of water
Taking a lot of water helps get rid of food particles in the mouth in throughout the day that would otherwise be acted upon by bacteria leading to bad breath.
Use the right Mouthwash
Using mouthwash can help kill the undesired bacteria in the mouth. The scent of the mouthwash also improves the general breath.
Ultimately, bad breath has solutions. Visit the dentist. If it is as a result of the medication you are taking consulting a doctor for alternatives might help. If it is stomach acid reflux, a medical checkup will be conducted to ascertain the real cause.
Mostly though, good dental hygiene practiced regularly, will help in your battle against bad breath.