How to get rid of bad breath
Maintaining healthy teeth and gums while improving breath is simple. By following these steps, you can ensure your mouth feels clean and fresh.
1. Brush and floss more often.
The buildup of dental plaque can provide an ideal environment for bacterial growth, leading to unpleasant odors. Additionally, the accumulation of food debris can contribute to the issue.
It is recommended to brush your teeth twice daily and floss at least once in order to maintain good oral hygiene. If you are concerned about bad breath, increasing the frequency of brushing and flossing may help improve oral hygiene.
It is important to be mindful of brushing your teeth, as excessive brushing can weaken them and increase the likelihood of decay.
2. Rinse your mouth out.
In addition to freshening your breath, a mouthwash provides additional protection by getting rid of bacteria. Having fresh minty breath can make you feel good, but you must be sure that you choose a mouthwash that kills the germs that cause bad breath instead of just masking it. Rinse with a good mouthwash every day and stop bad breath at its source. The ideal time to do this is before you go to bed.
By rinsing your mouth with plain water after meals, you can help to freshen your breath by removing food particles that may become lodged in the teeth.
3. Scrape your tongue.
The bacteria that cause bad breath can thrive on the coating that naturally forms on your tongue. To eliminate them, use a toothbrush to gently brush your tongue.
If you find it difficult to use a regular brush to reach the back of your tongue, consider trying a tongue scraper. These tools are specially designed to apply uniform pressure across the entire surface area of the tongue to eliminate bacteria, food particles, and dead cells that brushing alone cannot remove.
4. Avoid foods that sour your breath.
Brushing one’s teeth after eating onions and garlic does not effectively eliminate the odors they often produce.
Certain substances that produce unpleasant smells can be absorbed into the bloodstream and transported to the lungs, where they are exhaled.
To avoid the problem, it is recommended to refrain from eating certain foods or limit their consumption prior to going to work or socializing with friends.
5. Kick the tobacco habit.
Smoking can have a negative impact on oral health conditions, including increasing the risk of developing cancer. It can also damage gums, discolor teeth, and cause bad breath.
Over-the-counter nicotine patches may provide assistance in overcoming the urge to smoke. For further assistance in quitting tobacco products, it is advised to make an appointment with a physician to explore quit-smoking programs or prescription medications which can help in permanently giving up tobacco use.
6. Chew gum instead of mints after dinner
The bacteria in your mouth thrive on sugars, using them to produce acids that may erode tooth enamel and cause bad breath. To avoid this, consider chewing sugar-free gum instead.
Chewing gum can help to stimulate saliva production, which acts as a natural defense against the acids that cause plaque buildup, tooth decay, and bad breath.
7. Keep your gums healthy.
Gum disease can lead to bad breath as bacteria can accumulate in the pockets at the base of teeth, causing an unpleasant odorous smell.
If you have been diagnosed with gum disease, your dentist may recommend that you visit a periodontist, who is an expert in treating this condition.
8. Moisten your mouth.
If you do not produce adequate saliva, you may be at risk for tooth decay and bad breath. To prevent dry mouth, ensure that you regularly consume plenty of water throughout the day.
In order to reduce any sugary cravings, consider chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugar-free hard candy. Additionally, a humidifier at night can help to moisten the air in your home.
9. See your dentist.
If your bad breath persists despite your attempts to improve it, please schedule an appointment with your physician. Your dentist will be able to determine if there is a medical cause relating to the issue.
What is halitosis?
Bad breath is a common issue that can lead to psychological distress. There are various possible causes and available treatments for this condition.
It is estimated that approximately 25% of individuals suffer from halitosis on a regular basis. Bad breath can occur to anyone at any time.
According to research, halitosis is the third most common reason why individuals seek dental care, after tooth decay and gum disease.
To help reduce bad breath, it is recommended to practice improved hygiene habits and discontinue smoking. In the event that these lifestyle changes do not eliminate the issue, it is advisable to visit a dentist for further evaluation of potential underlying causes.
What causes bad breath?
The following possible causes of bad breath:
- Tobacco: Tobacco use not only leads to an undesirable odor in the mouth, but also increases the risk of developing gum disease which can cause halitosis.
- Food: Breakdown of food particles that remain lodged in the teeth can lead to odors. Furthermore, certain foods including onions and garlic can also contribute to unpleasant breath. Once these foods have been digested, their resultant breakdown products enter the blood where they travel to the lungs and subsequently affect one’s breath.
- Dry mouth: Saliva is an important natural defense for the mouth, as it helps keep it clean. However, when the mouth is either naturally dry or dry due to a condition, such as xerostomia, odors can start to accumulate.
- Dental hygiene: There are small particles of food that can build up and slowly break down over a period of time, causing odors, and brushing and flossing help to remove them. If brushing is not done on a regular basis, a film of bacteria called plaque is formed. When a denture is not cleaned properly, it can be harbored by bacteria that can cause halitosis. Plaque can irritate the gums and cause inflammation between the gums and the teeth.
- Crash diets: Fasting and low-carbohydrate diets can negatively impact oral health by leading to the production of chemicals called ketones, which have a distinct odor, resulting in bad breath (or halitosis). These ketones are created through the breakdown of fats.
- Drugs: A number of medications can reduce saliva production, thereby drying your mouth and causing odors to worsen. As other drugs break down and release chemicals in the breath, they may produce odors. People are also more likely to have bad breath when they take vitamins in large amounts, such as nitrates used to treat angina, chemotherapy chemicals, and certain tranquilizers, such as phenothiazines.
- Mouth, nose, and throat conditions: Occasionally, small stones covered in bacteria can accumulate on the tonsils at the back of the throat, resulting in an unpleasant odor. Additionally, infections or inflammation in the nose, throat, or sinuses may lead to halitosis.
- Foreign body: Bad breath may be caused by the presence of a foreign body lodged in the nasal cavity, particularly in children.
- Diseases: Certain cancers, liver failure, and other metabolic illnesses may result in halitosis as a result of the unique combination of chemicals that they produce. Moreover, Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) can cause bad breath owing to the repeating reflux of stomach acids.