How does your breath smell? Bad breath has happened to all of us at one point or another. This is an unpleasant and common problem, but do you know the cause?
To counteract bad breath, we first must look at the hygiene of your mouth. If you do not brush regularly, if you do not use dental floss, harmful bacteria can attack tooth enamel and produce cavities. Do not forget to replace your toothbrush at regular intervals because microorganisms can settle in and infect your mouth. Regular cleanings at the dentist will also help minimize bad breath. If the problem persists, you may be suffering from caries (bacteria reservoirs), canker sores, and inflammation of the gums or infection. After eliminating all medical causes, know that you can improve your breath by rinsing with a solution of baking soda twice a week. Some essential oils like mint, lemon, rosemary or eucalyptus are effective.
2. Morning breath
When you wake up, your mouth may feel dry and uncomfortable. As you sleep, salivation decreases and smelly bacteria begin to multiply: when you wake up, you have bad breath. Brushing and flossing at bedtime will keep your mouth clean during the night. Since saliva acts as a natural mouthwash, try breathing through your nose to prevent your mouth from drying out. But the best way to get rid of bad morning breath is to get up and brush your teeth.
3. The food you eat
The foods you eat change your breath, especially those with high aromatics like onions and garlic. Saliva enzymes start digestion as soon as you start grinding food in your mouth, but as soon as their food components enter the bloodstream, they enter the lungs where they are expelled by breathing. Brushing your teeth, rinsing your mouth or sucking on a mint candy can only mask those bad smells. To eliminate bad breath, avoid certain types of foods such as meat, sugar, very fat or very spicy food, as well as dairy products.
4. Sinus infection and allergies
Smelly bacteria are attracted to proteins found in mucus and phlegm. When you have a sinus infection, a cold or allergies, your sinuses produce more mucus. As this mucus goes down your throat, it makes your breath different from what it normally is.
5. Gum disease
Gum disease is a bacterial infection affecting the tissues surrounding the teeth. People who suffer from it are more likely to have bad breath because of the accumulation of bacteria. If you cannot get rid of bad breath even by brushing your teeth and flossing every day, you are encouraged you to go to your dentist to see if you have an illness.
6. Dry mouth
Dry mouth disease occurs when the production of saliva in your mouth decreases. The purpose of saliva is to clean your mouth and remove food debris. Permanent problems with salivary glands or the habit of breathing through the mouth can lead to bad breath. Chewing sugarless gum can help you salivate and chase away bacteria from your mouth, leaving you with fresh breath.
Not only does smoking leave a tell-tale smell of ash, but smoke changes salivation: your mouth becomes dry. The chemicals found in cigarettes can also cause bad breath; smoking can mostly cause heart disease and a range of cancers including that of the mouth.
8. Untreated health issues
Bad breath can be a sign of some health problems: respiratory tract infection, post-nasal discharge, chronic bronchitis, chronic sinusitis and diabetes. If your dentist declares that your mouth is healthy, you should see your family doctor determine where bad breath can come from.
9. Digestive disorders
An unhealthy diet can cause gastric acidity that rises along the digestive tract to the mouth, inflammation of the esophagus or stomach ulcer-causing bad odors. You have to change your diet and in particular ban some foods like garlic, onion, spices, among others. Consumption of alcohol and smoking are also prohibited. Brush your teeth without forgetting the tongue.
Prevention and Treatment of Bad Breath
If you want to avoid eating gum and sweets, even without sugar, other products will allow you to have “great smelling breath”:
Avoid heavy consumption of tobacco, coffee or alcohol
Drink water, six to eight glasses a day to hydrate your mouth
These simple measures should reduce or halt bad breath. If not, talk to your dentist or dental hygienist.