You have a straight set of teeth. They are pearly white too. Everything seems perfect until you opened your mouth and a stinking smell hits your nose.
Unfortunately, your perfect smile is ruined by your bad breath. And you are not alone as 80 million suffer from pervasive bad breath, while millions of Americans have it occasionally such as during morning or after eating pungent foods like garlic.
What is bad breath?
Bad breath, technically known as halitosis, is a foul odor stemming from the mouth due to certain food consumption, alcohol or tobacco use, poor oral habits, a dry mouth, or a particular medical condition.
A foul-smelling breath can have social implications and affect a person’s social interactions. It can be embarrassing, lead to bullying and alienation from peers, and result in anxiety and self-consciousness.
But the most important thing about bad breath is that it is an indication of poor dental health.
So, how do you resolve halitosis?
As mentioned above, bad breath is caused by several factors. To address it, you must identify what causes it.
If it is due to a particular food or drink, avoid eating it. If alcohol and tobacco use trigger it, limit or stop your consumption of alcoholic beverages and smoking which will also help you achieve better health as alcohol and tobacco increase the likelihood of diseases.
If your poor oral habits cause it, step up your oral hygiene by religiously brushing, flossing, and rinsing with mouthwash. Not only your bad breath, but good oral hygiene is vital in fighting decay and infection that can result in tooth loss and gum disease.
If your bad breath is due to dry mouth or xerostomia, you can try drinking plenty of water, reduce your consumption of dry and salty foods, and eat saliva-inducing foods like cheese.
It is also possible that medical conditions and their affiliated medications cause bad breath. Talk to your doctor to better know the appropriate action you can take about it.
Aside from addressing the cause, you can also follow these simple measures to prevent, lessen, and eliminate bad breath.
- Eat healthy. Keep your diet healthy by including nutritious foods and drinks. Avoid eating sugary and starchy foods because they make your teeth susceptible to tooth decay which can lead to bad breath.
- Stay hydrated. Water is essential in keeping your oral health at its best condition. The liquid washes away left food particles and rinse bacteria that can cause tooth decay. It keeps the mouth moisturized which can help you avoid having a dry mouth.
- Brush your teeth. The best way to fight bad breath? Brush your teeth! Through brushing, you rid your mouth of food particles and prevent dental plaque from building up. Aside from brushing, floss and rinse with mouthwash for optimum clean.
- Clean your tongue. Your teeth are not the only important part of your mouth. Bacteria can stay and breed on your tongue’s surface which will eventually move to your teeth and lead to cavities and bad breath. Give your tongue a gentle brush or use a tongue scraper to make sure your whole mouth is clean.
- Quit smoking. Smoking is bad, especially for your mouth. It causes dry mouth, heightens risk for gum disease, and increases the likelihood of other diseases not only in your oral cavity but your whole body.
- Visit your dentist. A bi-annual visit to your dentist is essential in the prevention of worst dental problems. Along with a check-up, a dental appointment usually includes a dental cleaning that can remove plaque and tartar that a regular oral care routine has missed.