Halitosis or bad breath is definitely embarrassing. It can destroy an interview, a date and ruin a first impression.
Millions of people suffer from halitosis or bad breath. In most cases it originates from the tongue and gums. As we all know, it can be humiliating, but it is a normal condition that can be prevented.
Where is the foul odor coming from?
The foul odor from our mouth is usually caused by anaerobic bacteria, which are sulfur-producing bacteria that breed beneath the tongue, throat and tonsil area. These bacteria don’t need oxygen to live, which is why they can survive in our mouth. A group of anaerobic bacteria occur naturally in the oral environment and they are essential because they assist in breaking down proteins into amino acids or digestion. Proteins are usually found in food, blood, mucus, and in diseased oral tissue.
As the group of anaerobic bacteria feasts on the proteins in your mouth, the sulfur compounds are released from the back of your throat and tongue. The excreted waste from bacteria such as methyl mercaptan, hydrogen sulfide and other odorous and bad tasting compounds are called volatile sulfur compounds. As long as the bacteria feed on the proteins in your mouth and excreted sulfur compounds are left unchecked, your breath will become worse and worse.
What Causes Bad Breath and Halitosis?
Sometimes, no matter how many times you brush, how much mint you chew, or how much mouthwash you use, bad breath just seems to keep coming back. So what causes this timeless turnoff, and what can you do about it?
Some of these causes are easy to prevent:
Not only does smoking cause bad breath, but it can also increase your chances of gum disease that will worsen your breath and oral health.
Obviously, this cause of bad breath can be easily prevented. Always floss, brush and rinse your mouth regularly.
3. Dry mouth
If your mouth is dry, then bad odors can start to accumulate in it.
4. Crash diets
Fasting for hours or depriving yourself of carbohydrates can cause bad breath. The breakdown of fat-producing chemicals called ketones also results in a strong and unpleasant mouth odor if fat is burned unhealthily and quickly.
Some metabolic diseases, like gastroesophageal reflux disease and cancer can cause halitosis. Many dental diseases and disorders can also cause bad breath.
How to get rid of bad breath
It’s easier to improve your breath and keep your teeth and gums healthy if you know the ways to do it. Here’s how you can get rid of bad breath – permanently. Read on for effective tips.
1. Brush your teeth regularly
We all know that you can easily avoid bad breath by brushing your teeth after every meal. By doing so, it can prevent bad odor, as it eliminates the food sticking to your teeth. You also need to floss and rinse with mouthwash in addition to brushing after every meal.
2. Visit a dentist
Aside from that, you need to visit the dentist regularly. Your dentist will give you an opportunity to talk about your oral issues and solve your breath problem. Your dentist can also diagnose your dental condition or disease that might be causing your halitosis.
3. Drink more water
Dry mouth is a common cause of bad breath. So, you must make sure to drink five to eight glasses of water daily to keep your mouth odor-free and hydrated. Always keep your mouth moist by drinking plenty of water.
4. Always eat breakfast
Eating breakfast is good for your health and metabolism. It also helps you start your day right with the necessary energy.
It is highly recommended to never skip a meal, especially breakfast. Eating breakfast can help reduce production of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) that are created by the body when it isn’t properly fueled. VSCs are produced overnight and eating breakfast can help prevent bad breath throughout the day.
5. Quit smoking and reduce your intake of alcohol
If you really want to have fresh breath permanently, then you must quit smoking and drinking alcohol, as these unhealthy habits can cause halitosis.
Quitting smoking can immediately lead to improved breath. Reducing alcohol intake can also aid in reducing bad breath. Plus, you’ll feel a whole lot better.
6. Scrub your tongue
Bacteria tend to sit behind the tongue before the throat, which is why you should scrub your teeth after brushing, too. When brushing your teeth, gently clean the back of your tongue using a tongue scraper to get rid of the hidden bacteria.
However, you need to remember that scraping your tongue is only a remedy for bad breath, but it isn’t a permanent solution to halitosis.
7. Use mouthwash
If you don’t have enough time to scrub your tongue, then you may swish some mouthwash around in your mouth and then try to get it to the back of your tongue as much as you can.
8. Clean your dentures at least once a day
If you have dentures, then you need to clean them regularly as foods tend to stick on them, which causes bacteria build-up in your mouth. Practice the same, proper oral care that you would with your original teeth.
9. Get a dental cleaning appointment
Good oral hygiene is the most effective way to prevent halitosis from occurring. Even if you floss and brush your teeth regularly, getting a dental cleaning is a great way to keep your gums and teeth healthy and odor-free.
We hope our little how-to guide on preventing bad breath will help you take care of your oral health and bad breath issue. Do you have a bad breath eliminating tip? We’d love to hear from you in the comments section below!
If you want to get more dental care and oral hygiene tips, follow Dental Focus on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. For queries and appointments, get in touch with us and we will be glad to help you with your dental needs. Book your appointment now!
Dental Focus – Dental Clinic in Singapore
10 Kaki Bukit Place, #04-00
Tel: 6747 0573