I am sure many of us have experienced episodes of bad breath. The origin of bad breath could be within the mouth, usually caused by sulphur-producing bacteria that normally live on the surface of the tongue and in the throat. Sometimes causes outside of the mouth can cause bad breath.
It’s easy to improve your breath and keep your teeth and gums healthy at the same time. Try these simple steps to make your mouth feel fresh and clean.
- Regular brushing and flossingBacteria within the mouth causes bad breath most of the time. Brushing and flossing to remove the bacteria especially from the relatively inaccessible areas will prevent bad breath.
- Rinse your mouth outMouthwash can sometimes help to kill the bacteria that cause bad breath. Many of the rinses also have ingredients that could freshen your breath. Some alcohol containing mouth washes could dry up their mouth with chronic use. Non- alcohol mouth washes may be more suitable in these cases. Mouthwashes can also moisten the mouth and prevent bad breath.
- Scrape your tongueThe coating on the surface of the tongue causes bad breath in the majority of cases. The coating that normally forms on your tongue can be a host for smelly bacteria. To get rid of them, you could use a dedicated tongue cleaning device or even just your tooth brush!
- Diet controlFood rich in roughage such as crisp, fresh foods naturally clean the teeth. This includes fruits and vegetables.
Some foods like Onions and garlic could cause bad breath and brushing after you eat them may not help. The substances that cause their bad smells make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs, where you breathe them out. Eating a diet low in carbohydrates to lose or maintain weight can also result in bad breath. Such a diet makes the body release ketones. These are foul-smelling chemicals that are released from the body through the breath
- DehydrationDry mouth could also cause bad breath. Increase your frequency and quantity of water intake Sipping of water rather than gulping could help. A well hydrated mouth will keep your mouth clean and odour-free.
- Rule out other causesIf the problem of a smelly mouth comes on suddenly, the culprit could be medication you have started taking. Some drugs given for high-blood pressure, allergies and depression may make your mouth dry which can cause it to smell.
Talk to your dentist, who will work with your doctor to rule out other causes. Sometimes, there is an underlying cause like a sinus infection, diabetes, reflux or liver problems.
- Chew gumThe bacteria in your mouth love sugar. They use it to make acid, which cause tooth decay and bad breath. Chewing gum stimulates saliva, which defends the mouth from the bacteria and its products.
- See your dentistRegular visits to the dentist are of utmost importance. Sometimes, bad breath is an indicator of a serious problem like an underlying tooth or gum infection, or an abscess.
We must be mindful to get to the bottom of the cause of bad breath rather than camouflaging it. Your dentist will be the best person to advise you on this.