Much like any form of body odour, halitosis can generally be overcome with good hygiene and basic knowledge and understanding.
So What Causes Bad Breath
The most common reason people suffer from bad breath is from having a dry mouth.
A dry mouth can occur for a number of reasons;
- Lack of water consumption (hydration)
- Sleeping and;
All of these slow down the process of saliva production and lead to a dry mouth, causing dead cells to develop on your tongue.
Having food stuck in between your teeth because you are not brushing properly is also a known cause of bad breath.
If you are not using the correct brushing techniques, bacteria builds up on your teeth and emit an odour.
On top of these common causes, there are medical conditions such as xerostomia, throat and lung infections, kidney and liver disease as well as diabetes that can all contribute to the odour expelled from your mouth.
How to Check For Bad Breath
To avoid the social embarrassment of bad breath, checking yourself before someone else points it out can be helpful and knowing how to check can be as simple as;
- Visually looking at your tongue. A pink, shiny one is good – a white and scaly one is bad
- Grab a spoon, scrape the back of your tongue, let it dry and then smell it
- Lick the back of your hand, let it dry and then smell it
Cupping your hands over your mouth and blowing into it, does not work and is not the recommended way to check if you have bad breath.
When eating food, be mindful about what you are eating. If you have just eaten something loaded with garlic or onions the chances are that people are going to want to stand a few feet back when talking to you.
If you know that you have eaten foods that could potentially make your breath stink, run through some basic precautionary hygiene measures to fix your breath.
The Most Effective Ways to Fix Bad Breath
There is no one time treatment to fix bad breath, the bad news is you have to keep at it regularly.
Since halitosis is caused by many different reasons, the fixes listed below are only temporary and will need to be repeated.
- Drink water regularly, when your mouth is hydrated and producing saliva regularly you reduce the chance of bad breath
- Use tongue scrapers, there is nothing more effective than cleaning your tongue and many toothbrushes these days come with a scraper on the rear side of the bristled head
- Rinse with mouthwash, if brushing your teeth and scraping your tongue doesn’t seem to be doing the job, you can try rinsing and gargling with mouthwash to wash away the bacteria
- Floss frequently, as bacteria can build up between your teeth and emit a foul odour, flossing frequently will help remove any food particles that may not have been removed by your toothbrush
There are also certain types of food that you can try eating to combat your bad breath. They include;
- Green tea boasts anti-bacterial properties that assist in knocking out the stink
- Cinnamon contains essential oils that have proven to kill off many forms of oral bacteria
- Crisp fruits and vegetables such as celery or apples offer dual bad breath busting benefits, chewing them increases saliva and their firm texture will help scrub away bacteria
If you have persistent bad breath, try keeping a diary of all the foods you eat, and list any medicines you're taking. Take this diary to your dentist – they may be able to suggest ways to solve the problem.
If your breath doesn't improve no matter what you do, you might not even have bad breath. Some people are convinced they have bad breath when they don’t. This is a condition known as halitophobia.
The information contained in this article is intended to give you general information and it is not intended to replace professional medical advice.
However, if you do want to receive professional advice regarding your bad breath, it is advised that you contact the Wisdom Teeth Professionals in Sydney by giving Dr. Paulo Pinho a call on 1300 217 858.