Stinking Breath? See What Causes It And How It Can Be Prevented

Not only can having a bad breath be humiliating for you, it is also socially unacceptable and offensive.

According to the NHS, treatment for bad breath (halitosis) will depend on its cause. Find various causes of halitosis below….

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Dry mouth provides a conducive environment for bacteria reproduction.

  1. 2. Long periods of speaking, smoking, drinking alcohol, and snoring are a few common underlying causes.
  2. Lack of saliva production while they sleep.
  3. Food odors are temporary and normal salivary flow will eliminate them within several minutes. However, those who suffer from dry mouth and lack of saliva find that even minor food odors may lead to long-term issues.
  4. Halitosis can be exacerbated by certain foods such as onions and garlic because they contain smelly sulphur compounds.
  5. Refined and processed sugars also provide a food source for bacteria. Coffee and juices can contribute to this problem because they are acidic and provide these bacteria with an ideal breeding environment.
  6. Inadequate oral care and poor mental hygiene causes bacterial buildup on the teeth and gums. Teeth cannot shed their surfaces the way skin can, so microorganisms can easily attach to the teeth and remain there for extended periods. If they are not continuously removed by adequate brushing, these bacteria develop into something called biofilm, commonly known as dental plaque.
  7. Illness and disease caused by diabetes, lung disease, kidney disease, cancer, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, or metabolic disorders often experience chronic foul breath due to dry mouth. Sinusitis, pneumonia, bronchitis, postnasal drip, and polyps affect the airways and may also contribute to the problem.

To prevent the halitosis, do the following as recommended by Webmd:

1. 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.

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Don’t overdo things, though. If you brush too hard you can wear down your teeth, making them vulnerable to decay.

2. Rinse your mouth out.
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.

3. Scrape your tongue.

The coating that normally forms on your tongue can be a host for smelly bacteria. To get rid of them, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush.

If your brush is too big to comfortably reach the back of your tongue, try a scraper. “They’re designed specifically to apply even pressure across the surface of the tongue area. This removes bacteria, food debris, and dead cells that brushing alone can’t take care of,” says hygienist Pamela L. Quinones, past president of the American Dental Hygienists’ Association.

4. Avoid foods that sour your breath.
Onions and garlic are big offenders. But brushing after you eat them doesn’t help.

The substances that cause their bad smells make their way into your bloodstream and travel to your lungs, where you breathe them out, says dentist Richard Price, DMD, a spokesperson for the American Dental Association.

The best way to stop the problem? Don’t eat them, or at least avoid them before you go to work or see friends.

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For Fresh Breath…

  • Eat a healthy, balanced diet and avoid eating strongly flavoured or spicy food.
  • Cut down on sugary food and drink, as it can increase the amount of bacteria in your mouth.
  • Reduce your alcohol consumption.
  • Stop smoking.
  • Cut down on coffee.
  • Drink plenty of water to help prevent your mouth becoming dry.
  • Chew sugar-free gum after eating, to stimulate the flow of saliva. This will help clean away any remaining food particles.
  • Make sure you visit your dentist for regular check-ups. Having regular dental check-ups will ensure that any plaque is removed from your teeth, particularly in areas that are difficult to reach.
  • Your dentist can recommend the best way to clean your teeth and gums, and point out areas you might be missing. They can also identify any signs of gum disease and ensure early treatment.
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