Bad breath (medically known as halitosis) can be embarrassing and distressing for anyone experiencing it. Supermarket and pharmacy shelves are teeming with products that attempt to counteract it including gum, mints, mouthwash, and sprays. But although these products mask unpleasant odours, they’re temporary solutions that don’t address the cause of bad breath. So, what causes halitosis? And how can you get rid of bad breath?
What really causes bad breath?
Bad breath is caused by a sulphur-based bacteria that live on the surface of your tongue and in your throat. This bacteria quickly breaks down proteins, releasing odorous compounds causing bad breath. So, let’s address some common causes of bacteria build-up that lead to foul-smelling breath.
Foods with strong odours such as onions, garlic, and some spices can often cause bad breath. After digesting these foods, they enter your bloodstream and are carried to your lungs. Brushing and flossing can provide a temporary solution to mask the odour, but it won’t be eliminated until these foods are out of your system.
Poor oral hygiene
If you don’t brush and floss daily, food can become trapped between your teeth and gums, creating inflammation caused by a buildup of bacteria. As a result, you could be a victim of perio-breath – an odour caused by gum infection and rot otherwise known as periodontitis.
Saliva plays a part in washing away food debris and bacteria. So, when your body reduces its production of saliva and your mouth becomes dry, bacteria growth flourishes and causes bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medicines, alcohol, or stress, as well as sleeping with your mouth open. This is how ‘morning breath’ occurs.
If you’re a smoker, not only can cigarette smoke linger on your breath, but smoking deprives the mouth of oxygen. No oxygen leads to a decrease in saliva production and, you guessed it… bad breath.
So, how can I avoid bad breath?
Now that we know what causes bad breath, here are some solutions to prevent and combat a not-so-rosy aroma from your mouth:
- Practice good oral hygiene – brush your teeth after you eat, ensure you brush your tongue, and floss daily to remove bacteria build-up.
- Quit smoking. Say goodbye to cigarettes, goodbye to a dry mouth, and goodbye to the smell of tobacco smoke on your breath. Plus, the benefits of quitting stretch beyond your dental health.
- Drink water. By drinking water throughout the day, you can not only flush out any build-up of bacteria, but you can also prevent a dry mouth.
- Visit your dentist. Your dentist will offer advice on how to prevent bad breath caused by poor oral hygiene
Book an appointment with Gosford Family Dentist
If you’re experiencing bad breath, consider a visit to your local dentist. Regular dental check-ups can help you get rid of bad breath and keep your oral hygiene in check. Contact the team at Gosford Family Dentist to book an appointment.