Halitosis, a foul odor emanating from the mouth, It’s not a medical emergency, of course, but some 25 to 30 percent of the world’s population suffer with this distressing problem.
Bad breath is an embarrassing hygiene issue that nobody wants to have, but most of us get it now and then.
Bad breath can be very embarrassing, but it is a common condition and there are numerous ways to prevent it. But before we discuss how you can fight bad breath, let’s first get into its origin.
Why Do We Get Bad Breath?
Bad breath typically originates in the mouth, where bacteria are ever present. When you eat, bits of food get caught in your teeth. Bacteria grow on these bits of food, releasing foul-smelling sulfur compounds.
The most common cause of bad breath is poor dental hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss often, the bacteria in your mouth continue to grow, and a thin film of bacteria known as plaque builds up on your teeth. When plaque isn’t brushed away at least twice per day, it produces a foul odor and leads to another smelly process, tooth decay.
All foods get stuck in your teeth, but certain foods like onions and garlic more commonly lead to bad breath. Digestion of these foods releases sulfur compounds into your bloodstream. When the blood reaches your lungs, it affects your breath.
Although more than 90 percent of bad breath cases originate in the mouth, occasionally the source of the problem comes from elsewhere in the body. It may be a result of acid reflux, which leads to the partial regurgitation of foul-tasting liquid. Other possible causes include infections, diabetes complications, and renal failure. Starting a new diet, such as the keto diet, may also bring about a certain breath odor.
Bad breath can also be caused by decreased flow of saliva, which is a vital part of the digestive process and removes odor-causing particles in the mouth. Also called xerostomia, dry mouth may be caused by medications, breathing through the mouth, or salivary gland problems.
In addition to causing bad breath, smoking or chewing tobacco-based products can stain teeth, irritate gum tissue, and exacerbate tooth decay.
Dentures or dental appliances, such as braces, can also contribute to bad breath. Most often, it is due to food particles that are not properly cleansed from the appliances. Loose-fitting dentures can contribute to sores and localized infections in the mouth, which can cause bad breath.
10 Treatment Options And Home Remedies For 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:
- Mouth rinses and toothpastes.
If your bad breath is due to a buildup of bacteria (plaque) on your teeth, your dentist may recommend a mouth rinse that kills the bacteria. Your dentist may also recommend a toothpaste that contains an antibacterial agent to kill the bacteria that cause plaque buildup.
Besides freshening your breath, a mouthwash adds extra protection by getting rid of bacteria. A fresh minty taste can make you feel good. But be sure the mouthwash you choose kills the germs that cause bad breath. Don’t just cover up the smell. Rinse daily with a good mouthwash and stop bad breath at its source.
You can also help your breath if you swish your mouth with plain water after you eat. It can get rid of food particles that get stuck in your teeth.
Try a 30-second mouthwash rinse that is alcohol-free (unlike many off-the-shelf products). Mix a cup of water with a teaspoon of baking soda (which changes the pH level and fights odor in the mouth) and a few drops of antimicrobial peppermint essential oil. Don’t swallow it! (Yields several rinses.)
- Get Crunchin’
Raw crunchy foods clean the teeth. Apples contain pectin, which helps control food odors and promotes saliva production. Cinnamon is antimicrobial. Active cultures in yogurt help reduce odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.
Chew a handful of cloves, fennel seeds, or aniseeds. Their antiseptic qualities help fight halitosis-causing bacteria.
Chew a piece of lemon or orange rind for a mouth- freshening burst of flavor. (Wash the rind thoroughly first.) The citric acid will stimulate the salivary glands—and fight bad breath.
Chew a fresh sprig of parsley, basil, mint, or cilantro. The chlorophyll in green plants neutralizes odors.
- Brush and floss more often.
Plaque, the sticky buildup on your teeth, collects bacteria that cause bad breath. Trapped food also adds to the problem. Brush your teeth at least two times each day, and floss at least once. If you’re concerned about your breath, do both a little more often. Don’t overdo things, though. If you brush too hard you can wear down your teeth, making them vulnerable to decay.
Brushing and flossing is not usually enough. The tongue is also a breeding ground for bacteria, dead cells and food debris. Use your toothbrush to brush your tongue or a tongue cleaner.
Brush your teeth two to three minutes at least twice a day to remove plaque and food debris. It’s very important to brush your teeth before going to bed. You might try an additional round of brushing with baking soda to reduce the acidity in the mouth and make it difficult for the bacteria that cause bad breath to grow.
Flossing will remove food debris from in between the teeth that a toothbrush can’t reach. If the food debris is not removed, the bacteria will begin to feed on it, causing bad breath.
- Watch what you eat.
It is easy to avoid eating foods that tend to be the main culprits of bad breath, but you must also be wary of your diet. High protein and low carbohydrate diets may be good for your health but they can cause a foul odor in your mouth. Not eating enough carbohydrates will trigger your body to burn fat instead of sugar and, therefore, cause bad breath.
- Scrape your tongue
To remove any residue that may be building up between the taste buds and folds in the tongue, invest in an inexpensive tool called a tongue scraper, which is available in drugstores. If you don’t have a tongue scraper, you can use your toothbrush to brush your tongue.
- Moisten your mouth.
A dry mouth happens when there is not enough saliva in the mouth. This usually happens when you sleep and wake up with “morning breath.” But it can occur at any time of day. Saliva is necessary to help clean your mouth and wash away food particles. Drink a lot of water throughout the day to help stimulate saliva production.
You can get tooth decay and bad breath if you don’t make enough saliva. If your mouth is dry, drink plenty of water during the day.
Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugar-free hard candy. Also try a humidifier at night to moisten the air in your house.
- Quit smoking
Besides causing cancer, smoking can damage your gums, stain your teeth, and give you bad breath.
Over-the-counter nicotine patches can help tame the urge. If you need a little help, make an appointment with your doctor to talk about quit-smoking programs or prescription medications that can help you give up tobacco for good.
- Clean dentures or dental appliances.
If you wear a bridge or a denture, clean it thoroughly at least once a day or as directed by your dentist. If you have a dental retainer or mouth guard, clean it each time before you put it in your mouth. Your dentist can recommend the best cleaning product.
- Keep your gums healthy.
Gum disease causes bad breath. Bacteria gather in pockets at the base of teeth, which creates an odor.
If you have gum disease, your dentist may suggest you see a periodontist, who specializes in treating it.
- Visit a Dental Hygienist in Dubai
If you have already practiced good oral care habits but still have bad breath, it might be time to see your dentist to check if your breath is being caused by a more serious issue.
When to See a Doctor for Bad Breath
Most causes of bad breath are due to inadequate oral hygiene and are rarely life-threatening. If good oral hygiene practices do not eliminate the bad breath, see a dental hygienist in Dubai. In most cases, a dentist can treat the cause of bad breath.
An individual should consult their physician for a diagnosis if they have persistent dry mouth, sores in the mouth, pain with chewing or swallowing, white spots on the tonsils, fever, and any other symptoms or concerns.
Those who have bad breath and have just started a new medication or who have had recent dental surgery should consult their health-care provider.
Bad breath in babies or young children may be a sign of infection or undiagnosed medical problems. Consult the child’s doctor or dentist if an infant or young child has bad breath.
Preventive care is the best way to keep your breath fresh and your teeth and gums healthy. Follow these tips to stop cavities and gum disease in their tracks.
Most of the time, bad breath can be cured and prevented with proper oral hygiene. It is rarely life-threatening, and the prognosis is good. However, bad breath may be a complication of a medical disorder that needs to be treated. Remember to see a dental hygienist in Dubai on a regular basis — generally twice a year — to have your teeth or dentures examined and cleaned.