Bad breath in the morning is normal. However, if it bothers you 24/7, it may be a cause for concern. While it can make you lose your confidence during social interactions, this is not the most pressing matter. The primary problem lies in the possibility that halitosis may be caused by a more serious dental health issue.
Usually a symptom of a worse condition, halitosis is a warning sign for dental and gastrointestinal complications. If you are experiencing chronic bad breath, turn to your dentist right away. They will offer you advice on preventing and dealing with halitosis.
Dental Do’s and Don’ts
No matter how old you are, dental care should always be a priority. According to the Canadian Dental Association, you should brush your teeth twice a day. Though optional, they also advise on flossing and using a mouthwash afterward. Since bad breath is often caused by biofilm accumulation in one’s mouth, brushing and flossing regularly will remove the bacteria’s food and thus eradicate them.
- Drink plenty of water
You owe it to your body to remember your water-drinking responsibilities. The reminder to drink 8 glasses of water daily may have become something of a mantra, but doing so prevents smelly breath. With constant H2O intake, your oral glands are able to easily produce saliva, which is your mouth’s first defense against bacteria, dry mouth, and other oral health issues.
- Replace your toothbrush regularly
No one wants to wear mouldy socks! Now imagine putting something as mouldy as that in your mouth. That’s right! With continuous exposure to moisture, your toothbrush is the perfect breeding ground for fungi and bacteria. Additionally, bristles become worn and fray with age, which can hurt your gums. Replacing your toothbrush every 2 months is a sure-fire way to keep halitosis and soft tissue damage at bay.
- Scrape your tongue
For the sake of dental hygiene, you can also scrape your tongue. As your day continues, food and bacteria will cover your tongue with a mucus-like coat. This coat becomes a live Petri dish. A 2018 study published in the Journal of Periodontal Research found out that the more you scrape your tongue the better chances of getting rid of halitosis!
- Avoid eating unhealthy foods
Any foodie knows that tasty dishes are often using the most flavourful ingredients. With that said, some flavours, once ingested may emit foul odours that can last for a day. These include chocolates, onion, garlic, jackfruit, curry, and more! The list is quite long, but there is no need to avoid them altogether. Having a period of abstinence from these types of foods or periodically eating them is good enough for reducing their bad breath effects.
- Use natural ingredients to fight off bad breath
Not everyone can afford to rinse their mouth daily with mouthwash. Some may be allergic, while others may find them irritating. The good news is that there is an alternative. You do not have to look further than your kitchen for a quick halitosis treatment.
From parsley, milk, pineapple juice, yogurt, oranges, and apples, these household commodities can easily clean and improve your oral health. Filled with vitamins and fibre, they can enrich and help sweep off the dirt from your smile.
- Avoid smoking and caffeine
Many find Nicotine and caffeine quite enjoyable. Whether enjoyed sparingly or all the time, these chemicals found in cigarettes and coffee can easily dry the mouth. They inhibit the production of saliva, which greatly affects the overall oral moisture. By controlling your caffeine and nicotine intake, your physiological health will also improve. A fresh clean breath is more than a plus.
- Chew on sugar-free gum
Sugar-free chewing gums are the perfect go-to solution if you are not in a position to brush your teeth. Portable and minty, they are the easy-to-grab band-aid solutions for halitosis. Whether you are on a date or party, chewing some gum will help in removing plaque and bad breath temporarily.
However, it has to contain no amount of sugar. Sugar is the food source for oral bacteria; the best way to deal with halitosis is to avoid sugary foods or drinks.
- Prevent acid reflux
Acid reflux can do a number on your mouth, damaging soft tissue and eroding tooth enamel. Mild cases can easily be subdued by antacid, but more serious cases can cause halitosis. When bile is regurgitated, some of its acidity may linger in your throat, gums, and teeth. This acidity can cause decay and infection, which causes your breath smell. If this happens quite often, and bad breath is an indication, seek medical and dental help.
- See your dentist
When homemade remedies and brushing don’t work, pay your dentist a visit. Having a quick dental appointment will help you pinpoint the root of the problem right away. This time, you do not have to settle on temporary solutions but rather go for a permanent fix. Dental visits will also determine if there are more pressing issues in terms of your health and how you can deal with them.
Pinpointing the cause of halitosis is like trying to identify a suspect from a lineup. Induced by various factors, halitosis is a simple symptom of complex underlying health issues. For a clearer look, these are some of the culprits:
Able to perform anaerobic respiration, oral bacteria can still survive in your closed mouth. By utilizing the sugar build-up in those tiny gum corners they can cause tooth decay and gum infections. This is then followed by pain and unpleasant odours, which are further catalyzed by dry and warm conditions. By brushing your teeth and drinking water, you get to clean and hydrate your mouth, thus killing the bacteria.
- Gastrointestinal Problems
If you have halitosis caused by stomach problems, you need to seek medical help. You can still follow the preventative steps, but they will not be as effective. By ignoring the real cause of halitosis, you may aggravate any existing health problems. Acid reflux is a common cause. However, it may also be a symptom of something else entirely, like a disease in the liver, stomach, gallbladder, or oesophageal. Speak to your doctor for a proper diagnosis.
- Oral Infections
Halitosis accompanied by a toothache is a clear-cut sign of oral infections. This could range from tooth decay, bleeding gums, inflamed tonsils, infected tongue, cut lips, and many more. Keeping strict oral hygiene will aid in the healing process, but it is better to seek medical aid. When feeling pain, try brushing your teeth using gentler strokes, switch to a softer toothbrush, and/or use mouthwashes with natural, mild ingredients.
If you’re suffering halitosis, know that you are not alone. There are quite a handful of people who go through this, but this also means that more treatments are available.
Lambton Family Dental provides family and preventive dentistry. We are dedicated to preserving your oral health and can provide treatment for halitosis. Give us a call now at (519) 344-5747 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to schedule a new patient exam consultation with one of our dentists.