Medically termed as halitosis, bad breath can be caused by poor oral health and bad habits can also cause other health issues. Unhealthy lifestyle and the type of food you eat are also responsible for making bad breath even worse.
How Does Your Eating Habits Affect Breath?
Basically, all foods you eat start breaking down in the mouth. As foods are absorbed and digested in the bloodstream, they are carried into the lungs eventually and they are given off in the breath. Suppose you eat foods that have strong odors like onions or garlic, flossing and brushing just cover up the odor. The odor doesn’t fade away permanently until food passes through the body.
Why Poor Food Habits are the Cause of Bad Breath?
If you don’t floss and brush teeth every day, food particles can stay in your mouth and promote the buildup of bacteria between teeth, on the tongue and around the gums. It leads to bad breath. Antibacterial mouthwash can be helpful to reduce bacterial buildup in the mouth. Odor-causing food particles and bacteria can also lead to bad breath if dentures are not cleaned up properly. Chewing tobacco-based products or smoking can also lead to bad breath, cut down the ability to taste foods, stain teeth and irritate gums.
Health Problems Related to Bad Breath
Bad taste or persistent bad breath in your mouth may be the alarming sign of periodontal disease. Gum disease is caused due to the buildup of plaque on your teeth. Bacteria can irritate your gums and cause the formation of toxins. Gum disease can damage jawbone and gums if it is untreated. Other dental causes are yeast infections in the mouth, badly fitted dental appliances and dental cavities.
Also known as xerostomia, the dry mouth is a medical condition and the main cause of bad breath. Saliva is important to keep your mouth well moisturized. It washes off dead cells on the gums, tongue and cheeks and controls acids which are produced due to the plaque. If these acids are not removed, the cells can decompose and lead to bad breath. Salivary gland problems, medications’ side effects, and consistent breathing through mouth are the common causes of dry mouth.
Several other illnesses and diseases can lead to bad breath. Respiratory tract infections are also common causes, such as bronchitis or pneumonia, postnasal drip, chronic sinus infections, chronic acid reflux, diabetes, and kidney or liver problems.
What Should You Do to Beat Bad Breath?
Good Oral Hygiene
Brush two times a day. Use toothpaste that contains fluoride to remove plaque and food particles. Brush teeth after having dinner at night. Also, carry toothbrush to your school or work and brush after lunch, for best results. Also, brush the tongue. Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months. Use interdental cleaner or floss to remove food debris between the teeth at least once in a day. Use an antibacterial mouthwash two times a day. Remove the dentures at night and clean them properly before placing them in your mouth next morning.
Don’t chew tobacco products and avoid smoking. Ask the dentist how to leave this habit.
See the Dentist
The dentist conducts an oral exam and professional cleaning in order to treat and detect dry mouth and periodontal disease, or any other condition which is caused by bad breath.
Drink a lot of Water
It will keep your mouth wet. Sucking on candy (sugarless) or chewing sugar-free gum can promote the production of saliva and wash away all the bacteria and food particles. Mints and gums that have xylitol are ideal choices.
Keep a Detailed Log on Your Diet
If you think the foods you eat are causing bad breath, carry the detailed log to the dentist for review. Also, list the medications you consume. Bad breath can also be the cause of side effects of some medications.
Generally, dentists treat bad breath after finding out the cause. If your mouth is healthy and the odor is not related to it, the dentist may refer you to your family doctor or a physician who specializes in determining the source of odor and treatment. If the odor is caused by gum disease, your dentist can either refer you to the periodontist or treat the disease. A periodontist also specializes in gum problems treatment.
What Products to Use to Avoid Bad Breath?
You can use antiseptic mouthwash in order to avoid bacteria which are causing bad breath. You can ask your dentist about the best products for you.
Zbys Fedorowicz from Bahrain Ministry of Health has conducted a research to review the results from the studies where participants given mouthwashes to the participants. As per the background details from the medical researchers, halitosis is the most common problem across the world. Around half of the US population is suffering bad breath. In France, around 60% of people are suffering from it. In Japan, around 24% people are suffering from this issue.
In the data review, adults above 18 years participated in the studies that didn’t have any serious mouth diseases of chronic gum problems or other conditions like diabetes that can cause bad breath. The studies lasted around 2, 4 or 6 weeks. Researchers compared the data and found that the mouthwashes can either eliminate bad breath or just cover it, depends on upon what type you choose.
According to Fedorowicz, the antibacterial mouthwashes, along with those that have chemicals to control odors, have been found helpful to control bad breath. The researchers also told that the mouth rinses which have chlorhexidine can stain the tongue and teeth temporarily and reduce taste.
Mouthwashes which contain antibacterial ingredients like cetyl pyridinium and chlorhexidine work really well to avoid bad breath. It is also because of reducing the buildup of bacteria in your mouth which can cause bad breath. Mouthwash that contains zinc and chlorine dioxide is also helpful to remove bad smells. It neutralizes the germs. Bad breath is also the common cause of traces of food which are accumulated in the creases and back of the tongue.