Bad breath happens to the best of us, especially first thing in the morning. However, if you’re always self-conscious about the stench of your breath, even after brushing, you could have a condition called halitosis.
This common (and frustrating!) condition of chronic halitosis affects one in four adults. Fortunately, this issue is easy to avoid once you understand its causes and solutions.
Why Do You Have Bad Breath?
Chronic bad breath can develop for a few different reasons, including poor eating and oral hygiene habits, slow saliva production, and other health issues.
As soon as you eat or drink anything, food and liquid particles breakdown in and around your teeth. If you don’t brush and floss regularly to remove food remnants, they accumulate into a thick coating of plaque that spreads over your teeth, tongue, and gums. Odor-causing bacteria thrive inside this plaque and emit the foul odor we call “bad breath”.
Your eating habits have the power to reduce or aggravate halitosis because they directly influence the types of particles that cover your mouth until the next time you brush and floss. Soda, juice, candy, and processed foods contain more sugar, which means they support the development of additional odor-causing bacteria and plaque. Milk, almonds, apples, and other healthy choices, on the other hand, help to wash bacteria away and balance the pH of the mouth.
Dry mouth is another cause of bad breath. Since saliva helps to clean your mouth and remove the particles that cause bad odors, a mouth with insufficient saliva production begins to release a bad odor. Chronic dry mouth may develop if the salivary glands can’t function properly to produce the saliva your mouth and body need.
The use of tobacco products, certain medications, and specific medical conditions can also lead to halitosis. The entire body is connected, so one health problem like diabetes can quickly lead to an issue like halitosis.
Signs of Bad Breath
Bad breath sounds like it would be easy to identify, but many people can’t assess the odor of their own mouths. If you suspect that halitosis is influencing your oral health, you can ask a close friend or spouse to check your breath and give honest feedback. You can also perform a breath test yourself by licking your wrist, giving the saliva time to dry, and then smelling it.
Fighting Bad Breath
Terrible breath can be humiliating, but there are many solutions to this condition. As long as you follow these tips, you can finally reverse your halitosis and speak confidently during any conversation.
Improve Your Oral Hygiene
Your oral hygiene habits set the pace for your mouth health. If you’ve been slacking on your brushing and flossing, you can begin to improve your oral hygiene habits with these techniques:
- Brush and floss at least twice a day
- Scrape your tongue each morning with a tongue scraper
- Replace your toothbrush every two to three months.
- Start oil pulling. This is an innovative and completely natural way to fight bad breath. The process involves swishing a tablespoon of coconut oil gently in your mouth for 20 minutes, then spitting it out and rinsing with warm water. Since oil pulling removes bacteria from the mouth, it eliminates bad breath at its source!
These simple yet effective steps will prevent bacteria from building up and generating a foul odor.
Drinking water throughout the day is another easy but powerful way to kick bad breath to the curb. Water rinses away plaque and bacteria, hydrates the mouth, and freshens bad breath.
Making strategic food choices can even alleviate bad breath. Raw, crunchy food choices help to clean the teeth and even contain components that control food odor and promote saliva production naturally. Apples, almonds, carrots, and walnuts are great examples. Even the active cultures in yogurt reduce odor-causing bacteria in the mouth.
Visit Your Dentist
It’s very important to let your dentist know about your struggles with halitosis. He can evaluate the appearance and condition of your mouth to offer insight regarding the cause of your bad breath.
For example, your dentist might identify that your bad breath is caused by dry mouth, which in turn is being triggered by intense snoring at night. By treating the underlying cause of your dry mouth and bad breath, your dentist can help you fully resolve the problem. This is so much better than using mints and gum to temporarily hide your bad breath without any real solution.
Your dentist can also recommend specialized toothpastes and mouth rinses formulated to remove the buildup of bacteria on your teeth and eliminate odor from those sources.
Don’t Let Bad Breath Ruin Your Life
Uncontrolled bad breath can cause you to feel self-conscious, embarrassed, and unattractive. You may find yourself avoiding friends, ending conversations abruptly, and declining invitations to social events.
Your halitosis doesn’t have to control your life! You just need to improve your oral care habits and visit your dentist. These simple measures will help you identify the root cause of your bad breath and take effective measures to keep your breath pleasantly fresh.
Dr. Claudia Cortadi and her experienced team at Ablantis Dental in Encinitas, California are committed to helping you embrace strong, radiant oral health. Call Dr. Cortadi’s office now to book an appointment and create a better, brighter version of yourself.