Are you worried you might have bad breath?
If you want to get rid of bad breath, it depends to some extent on the cause of the problem. If you have any doubts, or the problem seems chronic, it would be wise to consult your dentist or physician to ensure that the bad breath is not symptomatic of other problems that should be addressed. For instance, you could have periodontal problems (gum disease), and even diabetes can cause breath odor.
Having said that, generally the causes of bad breath are well known and can be addressed by applying the following admittedly general advice. These are appropriate to the most common cases of bad breath, such as that which is caused by mouth bacteria creating a smell as it breaks down food consumed.
Firstly, if bacteria are responsible for the smell, wouldn’t removing or killing the bacteria alleviate the bad breath problem? This is not a practical answer, as the bacteria are naturally occurring and required by the body to pre-process food before it passes to the stomach. However, if we discourage the extent of activity of the bacteria by various means and this will reduce the problem.
The bacteria thrive on protein rich foods, so reducing the amount of meat consumed and increasing instead fruit and vegetable intake is a benefit and lessens bad breath. You may also want to consider this action for general health reasons.
A dry mouth is possibly the most common reason for having a noticeable problem with the bacteria. The bacteria are anaerobic, which literally means without oxygen, and saliva provides oxygen, so a lack of saliva encourages growth. Saliva can be reduced if you breathe through the mouth, as for example when you sleep, and this causes “morning breath”. Other mouth drying activities include missing meals, drinking alcohol and not drinking enough water to stay hydrated.
If you are in the habit of eating foods rich in garlic, onions or other strong smelling fare, then the answer to reducing a bad breath problem should be fairly obvious. The smell is basically of a sulfurous nature, and is transferred to the blood, then to the lungs, where it is exhaled. The smell will stay until expelled from the body.
Pay close attention to your dental hygiene to help get rid of bad breath. It’s worth brushing not only your teeth but also the surface of your tongue and the roof of your mouth to reduce odor. Daily flossing will remove food and debris, and should help get rid of the problem.
Here is a quick list of what you can do:
- Brush your teeth after you eat. Keep a toothbrush at work to use after eating.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Brush your tongue.
- Clean dentures or dental appliances.
- Avoid dry mouth.
- Adjust your diet.
- Regularly get a new toothbrush.
- Schedule regular dental checkups.
Tackle that bad breath head on so you can feel confident about your breath!