When it comes to the small and embarrassing life moments, most of these are fleeting and easily forgotten once the initial moment has passed. However, for those who suffer from halitosis or bad breath, having someone politely tell you to eat a mint or to brush your teeth, can be embarrassing, especially when you are unaware of having it. Fortunately, the majority of the world’s population suffers from bad breath at some point in their lives and because of this, there are plenty of ways you can combat it. In this article, we are going to take a look at the causes of bad breath, how to detect it, and some tips on making your breath stay fresher and better for longer.
Understanding The Causes Behind Foul Smelling Breath
Although most people know that bad breath is most commonly caused by bacteria in the mouth that hasn’t been killed off by brushing and flossing, there are actually numerous reasons why one would suffer from bad breath.
- When bacteria in your mouth is exposed to any food substance with sugar in it, the bacteria will consume the sugar and multiply, giving off sulfur compounds that smell. They also multiply when they get stuck in the grooves of your teeth.
- Your tonsils are filled with little pits and when these pockets get filled with mucus and bacteria, they can turn into harden stone-like areas. These will give your mouth a nasty taste and foul smell.
- If you have stomach problems or digestion problems like acid reflux or ulcers, when you burp, it can cause a foul-smelling gas that can escape through your mouth.
- Consuming any type of smelly food without brushing afterwards causes the food particles to stay in your mouth and subsequently smell bad.
- If you have a dry mouth, the lack of saliva will ensure that bacteria and debris stays within the mouth, causing the above problems.
To check to see if you have bad breath, take a look at your tongue. If it looks white or has scales, you definitely have bad breath. Use a spoon to scrape your tongue and let what comes out, dry off on the spoon and then smell it. Another trick is to lick your hand, let it dry for a few seconds, and then small that.
Here Is What You Can Do to Combat Bad Breath
- Make sure you are maintaining proper oral hygiene by brushing twice a day and flossing on a regular basis. If you are not scraping your tongue on a regular basis, start this process by purchasing tongue scrapers from your local dentist. These are a simple way to remove the biofilms that get stuck on the back of the tongue.
- Drink water. Not only does water help keep your mouth clean by dislodging and removing food debris from the mouth, but it is also essential for overall wellness. If you suffer from dry mouth or tend to breathe through your mouth instead of your nose, you do not have enough saliva to break down the bacteria in your mouth, which will contribute to bad breath.
- After eating, brush and floss your teeth. If you are unable to do so, chew on some sugarless gum or drink plenty of water.
- Stop consuming cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and cigars as these can cause dry mouth and bad breath due to their harmful substances.
- Although regular mouthwash is great for masking the odor, it doesn’t actually treat bad breath. Instead, choose an over-the-counter mouthwash that utilizes zinc chloride. When combined with ionone (aroma compound), not only does it remove odors and plaque for longer periods of time, but the zinc actually binds to the protein receptors in your mouth, preventing the bacteria from consuming them. If the bacteria cannot “eat”, they will not produce the sulfur that creates bad breath.
Finally, make sure to always update your toothbrush every three to four months as this prevents bacteria and germs from being re-introduced into your mouth upon use, as they can get stuck in your brush’s bristles. Beyond this, if you have been sick, bacteria that gets onto your toothbrush can infect your body when transferred back into the mouth.