For sure, one of the most embarrassing oral problems is bad breath or halitosis. In fact, it has been established that one in four people are regular victims of bad breath. While there are products like mints and mouthwashes that address the problem, none of them can handle the root causes behind it. The main causes behind it are specific foods, health conditions, and habits. Halitosis can also be temporary, arising from some particular food or drinks. These include items like onions, garlic, alcohol, coffee, or tobacco. In most cases, due to poor dental hygiene, food particles can remain stuck in the mouth and enhance the growth of odor-producing bacteria.
When the condition persists for extended periods, it can be a sign of some serious form of oral disorder. In some cases, dehydration or dryness of mouth that reduces the production of saliva can also cause bad breath. Other major causes are tooth decay, cavities, gingivitis, or the formation of abscesses in the mouth. Apart from that, an infection of the sinus or in the tonsils can also lead to halitosis. It can also occur in patients suffering from liver or kidney-related diseases and uncontrolled diabetes. However, such cases also involve other symptoms apart from bad breath.
A complete dental check-up will help in finding the real cause behind halitosis and can also point out serious dental problems if any. A dentist will examine the detailed dental history of the patient and undertake a through an oral exam. The scale of the problem is established on a predefined scale depending on the odor intensity. There are also instruments to check the level of specific compounds that cause bad breath.
If needed, a professional cleaning can be done to remove any infections that might be present. In Right Choice Dental Care, the dentist can also suggest simple but effective lifestyle changes, and an improved dental hygiene routine to keep the problem under control.
What are the most common causes of bad breath?
In a word: bacteria. Millions of these microorganisms (some of which are harmful, and some helpful) coat the lining of the mouth and the tongue. They thrive on tiny food particles, remnants of dead skin cells, and other material. When they aren’t kept under control with good oral hygiene — or when they begin multiplying in inaccessible areas, like the back of the tongue or under the gums — they may start releasing the smells of decaying matter.
Here other issues can also contribute to bad breath. :
- An overgrowth of bacteria in the mouth cavity resulting from inadequate tongue cleaning
- Poor oral hygiene
- Gum disease/gums that bleed when you brush or floss
- Unclean dentures
- Oral abscesses
- Post nasal drip, colds, flu and other illnesses
- Dry mouth caused by mouth breathing, fasting, prolonged talking, stress and some medications
- Tobacco smoking
How do I get rid of bad breath? How do I get my breath to stop smelling?
More than 80 million people suffer from chronic halitosis, or bad breath. In most cases it originates from the gums and tongue. Bad breath can be very embarrassing, but it is a common condition and there are numerous ways to prevent it.
Following these tips can help you fight bad breath as well as keep your mouth healthy on a daily basis.
- Brush teeth twice a day - 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.
- Floss daily - 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.
- Brush or scrape your tongue - To remove any residue that may be building up between the taste buds and folds in the tongue
- Use a mouth rinse - Keep in mind that if a dental problem is the cause of chronic bad breath, a mouth rinse will only mask the odor and not cure it. In some cases, mouth rinses may actually worsen a bad breath problem by irritating oral tissue. For an emergency freshen-up, try a quick rinse with a mix of water and a few drops of peppermint oil. Or rinse your mouth with black or green tea:
- Visit your dentist - The best way to make sure that you are maintaining good oral hygiene is to visit your dentist regularly. If you have chronic bad breath, you should visit your dentist first, to rule out any dental problems. Or, if your dentist believes that the problem is caused from a systemic (internal) source such as an infection, he or she may refer you to your family physician or a specialist to help remedy the cause of the problem.
- Quit smoking and avoid tobacco products - If you ever needed another reason to quit, here’s an easy one: smoking contributes to bad breath. Tobacco tends to dry out your mouth and can leave an unpleasant smell that lingers even after brushing your teeth.
- Wet your whistle - Be sure to drink a sufficient amount of water (six to eight 8-ounce glasses) daily to avoid dry mouth. Drinking water will help keep odor under control because it helps wash away food particles and bacteria, the primary cause of bad breath.
- Eat a piece of sugarless candy or chew sugarless gum. - Sucking on a piece of sugarless candy or chew sugarless gum can help stimulate saliva flow. The saliva will help to wash away food debris and bacteria that cause bad breath.
- Munch on a carrot, a stick of celery or an apple. - Snacks of crispy, fresh fruits and vegetables step up your saliva flow between meals to help wash away bacteria from teeth, tongue and gums that can cause bad breath. These snacks can also help alleviate bad breath caused by hunger or fasting. An empty stomach from skipping meals can cause foul breath as acids in the stomach build up.
How can u tell if your breath stinks?
It is very likely that you’ll experience mild bad breath on occasion, given how common the causes are. If you have concerns about chronic bad breath or halitosis, try asking a loved one or schedule an appointment with your dentist.
Ask Someone You Trust
Requesting that someone evaluate the condition of your breath is an easy solution, but one of the most difficult answers to get. If you're feeling self-conscious about your breath, ask someone you're close with to just take a peek at the inside of your mouth. He or she may notice a white coating on the back of your tongue, which is often a sign of an odorous bacteria, according to the Better Health Channel. If you're concerned it may be a chronic issue – or are too embarrassed to ask a friend – you can always ask your dentist.
Try the Sniff Test
If you don’t feel comfortable breathing in someone’s face to find out whether or not your breath stinks, there is one other thing you can do: Lick your wrist, then wait 10 seconds. If the area you licked smells bad, chances are, so does your breath. This works because you’re depositing all that gross-smelling gunk on your tongue (a large contributor to bad breath) directly onto the skin, where it gives you an uninhibited whiff of your breath.
What causes bad breath even after brushing?
Myths about taking care of bad breath?
Here are three things you may have heard about bad breath that are not true:
Myth #1: Mouthwash will make bad breath go away.
Mouthwash only gets rid of bad breath temporarily. If you do use mouthwash, look for an antiseptic (kills the germs that cause bad breath) and plaque-reducing one with a seal from the American Dental Association (ADA). When you're deciding which dental products to toss into your shopping cart, it's always a good idea to look for those that are accepted by the ADA. Also, ask your dentist for recommendations.
Myth #2: As long as you brush your teeth, you shouldn't have bad breath.
The truth is that most people only brush their teeth for 30 to 45 seconds, which just doesn't cut it. To sufficiently clean all the surfaces of your teeth, you should brush for at least 2 minutes at least twice a day. Remember to brush your tongue, too — bacteria love to hang out there. It's equally important to floss because brushing alone won't remove harmful plaque and food particles that become stuck between your teeth and gums.
Myth #3: If you breathe into your hand, you'll know when you have bad breath.
Wrong! When you breathe, you don't use your throat the same way you do when you talk. When you talk, you tend to bring out the odors from the back of your mouth (where bad breath originates), which simply breathing doesn't do. Also, because we tend to get used to our own smells, it's hard for a person to tell if he or she has bad breath.