Chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis, is one of the most common oral health problems around. It affects around 1 in 4 people, and is the third most common reason for dental visits next to tooth decay and gum disease. Considering how widespread and embarrassing halitosis can be, it’s no surprise that so many grocery and pharmacy shelves are stacked full with mouthwash, mints, and other anti-bad breath products.
Using products like breath mints and mouthwash is an effective way to curb onion breath. However, it’s vital to address the root cause of bad breath if you want to avoid any embarrassing situation. Proper self-care practices, such as eating a healthy diet and practicing good oral hygiene every day, can improve bad breath and lower any risk of nasty oral problems. You can also visit your physician to find out if any underlying conditions, such as gut problems, may be causing your bad breath.
Common Causes of Halitosis
Most cases of halitosis are caused by a build-up of food residue and plaque in the mouth. Harmful bacteria feed on food debris and regularly produce nasty waste products, thus turning your breath from fresh and minty into stinky and humiliating. Plaque—a sticky, colorless coat of bacteria—can also cause terrible breath alongside other oral health problems like swollen gums and loose teeth.
Bad bacteria can also spread and wreak havoc when your mouth doesn’t have enough saliva to keep them at bay. Saliva protects our oral health by regularly washing out food debris and bad bacteria. When your mouth is drier and more parched than usual, your teeth and gums lack protection against nasty microbes found in every day food and drinks, which can then lead to bad breath, cavities, and many other oral health problems.
Nicotine, tobacco, and smoking in general does nothing good for your teeth. With every puff you take, your teeth and gums become exposed to nasty chemicals responsible for halitosis, cavities, and even tooth loss. Smoking and vaping can also reduce your sense of smell, as well as your ability to figure out whether or not your breath smells as good as it should.
Plaque doesn’t just cause swollen gums. It can also lead to terrible breath. Studies have shown that up to 80% of people with periodontal problems also suffer from halitosis. If your gum tissues are swollen and irritated due to excessive plaque build-up, bad bacteria can easily multiply and cause foul breath by producing nasty-smelling waste. The longer your gum problems go untreated, the more likely you are to suffer from chronic bad breath.
Your breath is easily affected by what you eat. When food items like garlic and onions are broken down in the body, odorous substances can enter the lungs through the bloodstream, leading to foul-smelling burps and breaths. Some common halitosis-causing food and drink items include alcohol, coffee, milk, and cheese.
Certain medical conditions like GERD and acid reflux can affect how your body works and cause chronic bad breath. Side effects from medication can also lessen your protection from harmful mouth bacteria. If your breath isn’t smelling any better in spite of your best oral hygiene efforts, you might need to see a physician.
The Best Ways to Improve Bad Breath
Getting great breath isn’t as hard as you might think. Simply follow these simple and sensible habits to turn your breath fresh and fragrant in no time.
1. Maintain a Good Oral Hygiene Routine
Plaque and food debris are the most common culprits of halitosis. People who don’t practice proper oral hygiene are far more likely to suffer from chronic bad breath than those who regularly clean nasties out of their mouths. Remember to brush and floss twice a day for at least two minutes at a time, and to rinse out any hidden dirt and plaque with non-alcoholic mouthwash.
2. Clean Your Tongue
Harmful bacteria can thrive in all parts of the mouth, even the tongue! To curb your risk of morning breath and chronic halitosis, don’t forget to clean your tongue once a day with a good tongue scraper. You can look for a toothbrush with a tongue scraper already built-in, or use a separate scraper instead. Most mouth bacteria tends to gather on the farther side of your tongue, so try to reach in as far back as you can during cleanings.
3. Stop Smoking and Vaping
Smoking and vaping offer short-term pleasure in exchange for long-term consequences. The price of daily tobacco and nicotine intake includes not only lung disease, but also chronic bad breath and early tooth loss. To protect your oral health from any more danger, break the habit as soon as possible. You can consult your dentist and doctor, or seek local support groups, for help.
4. Eat a Healthier Diet
Brushing right after eating isn’t always eating. When certain foods are digested, they produce sulfuric compounds that cause bad breath. It’s much better to avoid fish, onions, and other odor-causing food altogether, and to try vegetables like celery instead. If you can't cut certain foods out of your diet yet, you can lessen your risk of foul breath by waiting for your meals and snacks to digest properly before meeting people face-to-face.
5. Go Sugar-Free
Sugars and starches stuck to teeth make great life sources for harmful bacteria. Not only that, but they can even break down enamel and increase your likelihood of tooth decay. To lessen any risk of bad breath, go for snacks that are healthy and sugar-free. You can also drink sugary beverages with a straw or drink a glass of water to ensure that your teeth make as little contact with harmful sugars and bacteria as possible.
6. Drink Plenty of Water
Water washes out food debris and harmful particles that cause bad breath. The next time you feel parched, drink a nice glass of water instead of sugary beverages and sports drinks. This will not only keep your breath fresh, but also do wonders for your oral and overall health. If possible, try out water with fluoride too! It's a great way to strengthen your teeth and stay hydrated without any risks.
7. Visit Your Doctor and Dentist
Regular dental check-ups are a must for great oral health. By visiting your dentist every six months, you can give your teeth and gums a more thorough cleaning, as well as mitigate oral problems like gum disease and cavities before they can get worse.
Medical check-ups are also important for maintaining good oral health. Certain medical conditions can cause chronic bad breath, so it's important to visit a physician and rule them out. If you're taking any medications, you might also want to consult your physician regarding whether or not they can cause halitosis as a side effect.
Upgrading your oral hygiene kit is another effective way of curbing bad breath. The Meeteasy Electric Dental Scaler is specially designed to eliminate food debris and harmful bacteria from areas where your toothbrush and floss can't easily reach. Order yours from our online store today and enjoy better breath in no time!