Bad breath, most commonly called halitosis, is characterized by an unpleasant odor of the mouth. Having bad breath could be really embarrassing while sitting in an office meeting or at a party. Bad breath can occur on any occasion or time and sometimes it may be a chronic condition. In mostly cases, halitosis may develop from gums or tongue. There can be several reasons for having bad breath like poor oral hygiene, medical conditions or due to the foods that we consume.
Causes of Bad breath or Halitosis
- Food- Food can be a major contributor for bad breath. Garlic and onion are foods that are used in almost all homemade meals. Spicy food preparations and foods like cheese, fish and beverages like coffee may leave long lasting bad odour. There are some other foods that get stuck in the teeth causing bacteria to grow. Some carbohydrate foods may cause ketone breath which does not last for long. These diets are usually good for burning fat.
- Poor dental hygiene- Sometimes bad breath is also caused due to poor dental hygiene. When a person does not brush regularly, the food particles stick to the teeth, causing the mouth to rot. Plaque formed due to food particles leads to gum diseases. The severe form of gum diseases is known as gingivitis and when it is not treated on time it may lead to periodontitis. Periodontitis is a gum disease that affects the bone and tissues surrounding the tooth.
Also Read: Healthy Teeth Leads to a Healthy Life!
- Health problems- Medical conditions like diabetes, sinus infections, pneumonia, sore throat, bronchitis, thrush and stomach, liver and kidney problems may also lead to bad breath.
- Having dry mouth- Dry mouth is sometimes called Xerostomia which is another cause of bad odour. Saliva plays a major role in moistening and cleansing of the mouth and when the body is unable to produce enough of saliva, it may lead to bad breath. Salivary gland problems, connective tissue disorders and breathing through mouth are some causes of dry mouth.
- Infections in mouth– When bacteria sticks to the teeth, it causes cavities. Poor dental hygiene is generally prevalent in young children. They easily get cavities due to sugary products like candies or chocolates. Cavities and gum diseases affect the teeth which then becomes a reason of bad breath.
- Medications- Certain medications like antihistamines, diuretics, insulin, triamterene and paraldehyde makes the mouth dry, resulting in halitosis or bad breath.
- Braces- Braces are used by many people to have properly shaped teeth. When food particles are not properly cleaned from the braces, it increases the growth of bacteria, which leads to bad odour. You should ensure that the dentures or braces are properly fit so that it may not cause sore or infections in the mouth.
- Smoking and drinking- Smoking is injurious to health and tobacco intake can severely stain teeth, irritate gums and causes bad breath. Kicking the smoking habit can help lower the risk of gum problems and the mouth remains fresh. Alcoholism is another reason of bad breath.
- Skipping breakfast- If you are thinking to have a fresh breath any morning then skipping breakfast would be the bad option. A morning meal is helpful in stimulating saliva production and removing bacteria from the tongue.
Some other causes of bad breath are a protein-rich diet, increased alcohol consumption, respiratory tract infections, mouth breathing and ongoing illnesses.
One must prevent plaque and tooth decay that sometimes causes bad breath. Try to see dentist at least a month. He may conduct an oral examination and treat dry mouth or periodontal diseases.
Cures for bad breath:
- Rinse after eating and drinking- The food that we eat includes soda, alcohol, garlic, and onion which can cause bad breath. In fact, acidic drinks like tea, pepsi and soda lowers the ph level in the mouth due to which bacteria develops. Rinsing your mouth after eating balances the ph level.
- Drink more water- It is a well known fact that water is the healthiest drink that keeps the body hydrated. Having a glass of water helps to remove dehydration which is the biggest cause of bad odour. Water helps to keep saliva in right balance, thus preventing chronic bad breath.
- Cleanses your tongue– It is also essential to remove bacteria from the top of the tongue to prevent foul smelling breath. Besides the foul odor, bacteria can multiply. It is always advisable to clean the rough surface of the tongue which features a combination of dead cells and bacteria. Clean the tongue by using flip side of toothbrush to lessen bad breath.
- Rely on natural herbs- Try to shift to green tea which is good for fresh breath. Green tea has anti bacterial compounds which are effective in fighting against germs and bacteria. Natural herbs like mint, parsley, basil and cilantro provide a quick solution to pungent smell and its high levels of chlorophyll are good in providing long term benefits. Chlorophyll also works in removing bad breath and neutralizing internal body odors. One can have chlorophyll in the form of tablet or sublingual drops as well.
The best home remedies for eliminating bad breath:
These remedies are simple and easy to follow, at home or even during office hours.
- Cloves- One can make use of cloves which have powerful antiseptic properties that helps in getting rid of bad smell. Have a piece of clove in the mouth and chew it properly. Clove can also be used as tea which works as mouthwash.
- Cinnamon- Cinnamon contains cinnamic aldehyde which is essential for removing bad breath and helps reduce bacteria from the saliva. Try to boil one teaspoon of cinnamon powder in a glass of water and add bay leaves and cardamom. Use the solution as a mouth wash to refresh breath.
- Lemon- One can also make use of lemon juice that helps in preventing growth of bacteria and germs on tongue. Just squeeze a piece of lemon in a glass of water, and you have a refreshing drink!
Get professional treatment
If home remedies do not provide satisfaction, then try to visit doctor for better treatment. You can opt for antiseptic mouth washes to remove unpleasant mouth odour. Mouth washes are good in preventing plaque build up, food particles, stops cavities and freshens the mouth.
Having bad breath could be really disappointing, especially when you have to communicate with lots of people on a daily basis. The reasons for bad breath could result from bad food intake, medical conditions or cavities. Make a habit of brushing your teeth twice a day. One can also make use of natural herbs like cardamom or clove, which help in removing chronic bad breath. In case of severe cases, you can visit the doctor for instant relief.
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