Bad breath, often known as halitosis, can be humiliating and even cause anxiety in some people. It’s no surprise that store shelves are brimming with gum, mints, mouthwashes, and other anti-bad-breath items. However, because they don’t address the root of the problem, many of these products are merely temporary fixes.
Bad breath can be caused by a variety of meals, health issues, and habits. In many circumstances, good dental hygiene can help you get rid of foul breath. If simple self-care treatments don’t work, consult your dentist or physician to make sure your foul breath isn’t caused by something more serious.
Causes of Bad Breath
Food particles breaking down in and around your teeth might lead to an increase in bacteria and a bad odor. Bad breath can also be caused by particular meals, such as onions, garlic, and spices. These meals enter your bloodstream after digestion, go to your lungs, and alter your breathing.
2. Tobacco-related Products
Smoking produces a foul odor in the mouth. Gum disease, another source of bad breath, is more common in smokers and oral tobacco users.
3. Dental Hygiene
Dental hygiene is a problem. Food particles remain in your mouth if you don’t brush and floss on a daily basis, causing bad breath. Plaque is a white, sticky bacterium coating that builds on your teeth. Plaque can irritate your gums and eventually build plaque-filled pockets between your teeth and gums if not cleaned away (periodontitis). Bacteria that create scents can also be trapped on your tongue. Dentures that aren’t cleaned on a regular basis or that don’t fit properly might harbor bacteria that cause odors and food particles.
4. Dry Mouth
Saliva aids in the cleansing of the mouth by eliminating particles that create smells. Because saliva production is reduced, a disease known as xerostomia can lead to bad breath. Dry mouth occurs naturally while sleeping, resulting in morning breath, which is exacerbated if you sleep with your mouth open. An issue with your salivary glands, as well as several disorders, can cause chronic dry mouth.
6. Mouth Infection
7. Tonsil Stones, Other Nose and Throat Diseases
8. Other Causes
Chemicals produced by diseases, such as some malignancies, and conditions, such as metabolic disorders, can induce a particular breath odor. Bad breath is linked to chronic stomach acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD). A foreign body caught in a nostril, such as a piece of food, can produce bad breath in young infants.
Prevention of Bad Breath
The following home remedies can be carried out to prevent bad breath.
1. Brush your teeth after you eat
Brush using a fluoride-containing toothpaste at least twice a day, especially after meals. Toothpaste with antibacterial properties has been shown to reduce bad breath odors.
2. Floss at least once a day
Proper flossing removes food particles and plaque from between your teeth, helping to control bad breath.
3. Brush your tongue
Because germs live on the tongue, brushing it gently can help to eliminate odors. A tongue scraper may be beneficial for people who have a coated tongue due to a severe overgrowth of microorganisms (from smoking or dry mouth, for example). Alternatively, use a toothbrush with a built-in tongue cleaning.
4. Clean dentures or dental appliances
Clean your bridge or denture thoroughly at least once a day, or as advised by your dentist, if you have one. If you have a dental retainer or mouth guard, clean it before putting it in your mouth each time. Your dentist will be able to recommend the finest cleaning product for you.
5. Avoid Dry Mouth
Dry mouth should be avoided at all costs. Avoid tobacco and drink plenty of water to keep your mouth moist — not coffee, soft drinks, or alcohol, which can dry out your mouth. To increase saliva production, chew gum or eat sugarless confectionery. Your dentist or physician may prescribe an artificial saliva preparation or an oral prescription to promote saliva flow if you have persistent dry mouth.
6. Make Dietary Changes
Avoid foods that produce bad breath, such as onions and garlic. Bad breath is also linked to eating a lot of sugary foods.
7. Replace your toothbrush on a regular basis
Replace your toothbrush every three to four months if it becomes frayed, and use a soft-bristled toothbrush.
8. Make dentist appointments on a regular basis
Having your teeth or dentures inspected and cleaned by your dentist on a regular basis — usually twice a year — is a good idea.