Most people think that irregular/inadequate oral hygiene or a dental condition cause bad breath - and they are right. But, things are not always that simple. Millions of people around the world are fighting this problem every day, without knowing its exact cause. It’s estimated that 10 percent of bad breath issues don’t originate in the mouth and the cause lies somewhere else.
Regardless of the cause, bad breath (halitosis) can lead to some serious consequences such as social anxiety and the loss of self-esteem. We’ll discuss potential causes of bad breath and give you some tips on how to deal with it.
One of the main causes of bad breath are bacterias found in our mouth. Most of those bacteria coat our teeth in the form of plaque. When bacteria release gases - this causes unpleasant breath. So step 1 on the way towards fresh breath is regular and thorough brushing.
A great deal of plaque lies between our teeth, where food particles end up and get stuck. Most brushes can’t remove them and this is why you should buy a dental floss. There's a variety of flosses on the market. Pick the one which suits your teeth and the space between them. Remember that flat and wide ones are for large gaps and thin flosses are for close together teeth.
While brushing, spend at least 30 seconds removing the bacteria from your tongue. You can do this with your brush, but tongue scrapers are better for thorough removal of white or yellow coating. Scrape from the back of your tongue to the front and be gentle to avoid the breaking of skin as there are taste buds on the back of your tongue. If bad breath is caused by the plague, this is one of the fastest ways to get rid of it for good.
Using mouthwash is another great way of ensuring that your mouth is plaque-free. Use it after brushing to get rid of all the bacteria and get that intense minty feeling. If you’re eating outside, swishing pure water inside the mouth will serve as the first aid and help you get rid of the majority of food particles.
When we are thirsty, we don’t produce enough saliva and bacterias stick in our mouth longer than they are supposed to. Saliva is a natural cleaner so it's important to make sure you’re well hydrated. Certain conditions and medications can make the mouth dry. Sipping water and using medication that increase saliva production help in such cases.
So called crash diets are a way of losing lots of weight in a short time period. Almost all crash diets are based on one logic: the less calories you intake, the more weight you’ll lose. The extreme low-carbohydrate diets can lead to bad breath as ketones, chemicals that fuel your body and have a strong aroma, are rapidly produced.
Gum disease (gingivitis) could be one of the causes of bad breath. Good oral hygiene and regular dental checkups will prevent getting your gums inflamed. If this happens despite the prevention, visit your dentist and undergo the advised procedure. Periodontist (a specialist who deals with gum conditions) will likely recommend gum pocket reduction treatment and deep dental cleaning.
It is well known our breath won't be fresh after eating garlic and onions. Yet, we wouldn’t tell you to avoid these foods for good, as they are excellent for overall health. Coffee and strong teas can cause bad breath, too. Brushing won’t help you in this case as substances guilty for the smell are going into the bloodstream and lungs.
Cigarettes make your breath, fingers, clothes and hair smell bad. Needless to say, they cause serious health issues and vitamin deficiencies. If you don’t want to pay a hefty sum of money on something that’s causing cancer, halitosis, teeth stains and other problems, kick the bad cigarette habit. Get nicotine patches if you feel the irresistible urge to get back to tobacco.
High ketones are not only found in people who are undergoing crash diets. They can also show that your insulin levels are extremely low. When diabetics experience insulin drop, their stores of fat are used as fuel instead of sugar. The process of breaking down fats produces ketones and the unpleasant, distinctive breath smell. If your breath smells like acetone (it’s one of the ketones) - seek doctor’s help immediately.