Bad breath, can be demoralizing hence, causing low esteem in a person. Most times, poor dental health habits and the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits can result to Bad Breath.
Usaully, one experiences bad breath in the morning, this is very common. Saliva production nearly stops during sleep, allowing odor-causing bacteria to grow, causing bad breath.
Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, can be a chronic condition. Bad breath condition can be seen in older and younger persons. Bad breath in babies or young children may be a sign of infection or undiagnosed medical problems. Bad or foul breath can’t just occur, there are triggers for bad breath which can be prevented. Factors such as lifestyle and poor oral hygiene are the things to put in check.
Food, tobacco products, poor dental hygiene, health problems, dry mouth, oral infections, dental problems, or medications can cause bad breath.
- Food: Food is a primary source of bad odors that come from the mouth. Some foods, such as garlic, onions, spicy foods, exotic spices (such as curry), some cheeses, fish, and acidic beverages such as coffee can leave a lingering smell. Most of the time the odor is short lived. Other foods may get stuck in the teeth, promoting the growth of bacteria and dental plaques, which causes bad breath odor.
- Tobacco products: Smoking and chewing tobacco can leave chemicals that remain in the mouth. Smoking can also precipitate other bad-breath causes such as oral infections.
- Poor oral health: When a person does not brush or floss his/her teeth regularly, food particles remaining in the mouth can rot and cause bad odors. Poor dental care can lead to a buildup of plaque in the mouth, which causes an odor of its own. Plaque buildup on the teeth can also lead to an unhealthy condition called periodontal (gum) disease.
Symptoms of bad breath:
The symptoms varies, most often, it can come with an unpleasant odor or taste in the mouth, dry mouth, or white coating on the tongue. Some symptoms can be severe, if you experience any of these listed below, please visit a dentist to rule out any other health challenge(s)
- persistent dry mouth,
- sores in the mouth,
- pain or difficulty with chewing or swallowing,
- broken teeth or dental pain,
- white spots on the tonsils.
Taking proper care of the mouth is paramount. How to brush the teeth must be carried out effectively. Brushing the teeth and tongue, keeps the mouth healthy and can often get rid of bad breath.
Chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugar-free mints may temporarily mask bad breath odor.
For more serious cases of bad breath, dentists can prescribe special toothpaste and mouthwash that can improve the symptoms of bad breath.
Treatments for bad breath include proper dental hygiene, mouthwash, sugar-free gum, quitting smoking, and any other likely trigger.
- Brush and floss teeth regularly. Remember to brush the tongue, too, to remove bacteria from its surface. Brushing the tongue can help with bad breath caused by foods a person has eaten.
- See a dentist regularly for checkups and to ensure dentures or braces are properly fitted and cleaned (and clean dentures thoroughly each night).
- Quit smoking or using chewing tobacco.
- Sugarless gum and sugar-free candy can also keep the mouth from drying out.
- Keep the mouth moist by drinking water and chewing sugarless gum or sugar-free hard candy to stimulate the production of saliva. Eat a diet of foods that need to be thoroughly chewed to keep saliva flowing. Foods that require a lot of chewing, such as apples or carrots, are good options.
- Over-the-counter mouthwash can help kill bad breath-causing bacteria and may temporarily mask bad breath odors, but it may not treat the underlying cause.
If bad breath is due to a health problem such as a sinus infection, diabetes, acid reflux (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD), etc., then the underlying medical issue needs to be treated.