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Bye-bye Bad Breath!

9 March 2022

Categories: Dental Care
Bad Breath

If you’ve been struggling with bad breath, you’re not alone. Bad breath affects one in two people in your life. Yes, it is that common and yet, many still struggle with finding the right solution to removing the unpleasant odour that’s dampening your self-confidence.

Learn how to regain a healthy breath as well as your confidence as we cover all you need to know about bad breath, including how to put a stop to it.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath or also known as halitosis, is an odour that can come from your mouth or teeth. The most prominent symptom of bad breath is a bad smell that follows when you speak or open your mouth. However, that’s not all, another symptom that may accompany bad breath is to have a bad taste in your mouth.

There are many reasons that could cause this bad odour, such as:

Dental causes

Poor dental hygiene can cause food particles to get trapped in your mouth and in between your teeth. As time goes by, the bacteria in your mouth, coupled with the decaying food trapped in it as well as dental plaque, can emit a bad odour.

If you wear dentures, it’s also important to be diligent with cleaning them daily to prevent bad breath.

Besides that, dental health concerns such as periodontal disease, white tongue, dry mouth and a current battle faced by many – mask mouth, are possible causes of bad breath too.

Lifestyle causes

The choices you make in your life can affect your physical health in many ways, including your dental health. Lifestyle decisions such as to consume food with a strong odour like garlic, smoking and to pursue diet plans like the keto diet can cause bad breath.

Health-related causes

Sometimes, bad breath is a sign of an underlying health condition and it should not be taken lightly. Tonsil stones, a sinus infection, an infection in your respiratory system and chronic bronchitis can cause an unpleasant odour in your mouth. Though, it’s not just health conditions in your throat or sinus that can cause bad breath. Kidney disease, liver disease, diabetes and acid reflux too can be possible causes.

The good news is, your dentist will be able to help you navigate through these dental challenges and regain a healthy breath.

Effective solutions to combat bad breath

If you were battling with bad breath, you would be glad to know that you don’t have to live with it throughout your life. A healthy and pleasant breath starts with you. Here are some effective solutions that you can practice:

#1 See a doctor

Firstly, if the reason you have bad breath is caused by a medical condition, it’s vital to seek treatment as soon as possible. It’s important to get the cause of the problem addressed to prevent the problem from progressing.

Secondly, your dentist will be the person to help you prevent future occurrences by helping and guiding you to take charge of your dental health. Regular visits to your dentist are also important as your dentist will be able to clean your teeth and in between it, thoroughly. In the case of periodontal disease, your dentist will treat the dental issue accordingly and concurrently, it’ll also help with managing bad breath.

#2 Brush and floss daily

Brushing your teeth is habitual for the majority. Flossing, on the other hand, may not be practiced by everyone. Did you know that flossing is as important as brushing your teeth? Brushing your teeth helps to keep your teeth and mouth clean and fresh whereas flossing cleans in between your teeth, including areas that may be a little harder for the bristles of a toothbrush to reach. It is recommended for adults to brush twice a day and floss once daily.

#3 Rinse with mouthwash

Using a mouthwash does not replace the role of brushing or flossing your teeth but it does complement your oral hygiene routine. The ingredients in your mouthwash generally help to rinse bacteria from your mouth, gums and protect your teeth. Gargle the recommended amount of mouthwash (according to the instructions on the label) twice a day.

#4 Clean your tongue

As mentioned, a white tongue can cause bad breath. Naturally, your tongue is of pinkish in colour but due to bacteria, food debris and dead cells in between the papillae and sometimes inflammation, the surface of your tongue will have a white coating that might emit an unpleasant odour.

This is why cleaning your tongue is essential. One of the most effective ways to clean your tongue is to use a tool known as a tongue scraper. Alternatively, you could also use your toothbrush to gently brush your tongue. Do ensure that you’re using a soft-bristle toothbrush to avoid injuring your tongue during the cleaning process.

#5 Stop smoking

The chemicals from smoking cigarettes cause a bad mouth odour and dry mouth. The former, also known as Smoker’s Breath, is caused by cigarette smoke lingering in your throat and lungs. That’s a double whammy when it comes to your dental health. Now, the health impact of smoking does not stop there. Smoking also increases your risk of developing gum diseases, which is another cause of bad breath as well as tooth loss. If your smoking habits are the reason why people are keeping a distance from you as you speak, curbing this unhealthy habit is the solution to your bad breath woes.

#6 After dinner mints

To freshen your mouth after a meal, some might enjoy popping a mint into their mouth. There is no doubt that a mint will freshen your breath and it could even give you a confidence boost! However, not all mints will help with managing bad breath. You’ll want to opt for sugar-free ones because sugar feeds the existing bacteria in your mouth. Therefore, adversely contributing to bad breath. So, don’t forget to read the label before enjoying a mint.

#7 Moisten your mouth

Dry mouth contributes to bad breath because the production of saliva is reduced. Without enough saliva, your mouth is not able to clean itself as effectively. Staying hydrated throughout the day combats bad breath as it moistens your mouth, flushes bacteria and debris out of the mouth, and increases saliva production.

If you’ve tried these simple solutions but you’re still finding your mouth drier than it should be, do speak to your dentist. He or she will be able to help you identify the root of the problem.

Put your breath to the test

There’s no need to assume if you’ve bad breath or not. There are times we might not catch it and there is also the possibility that you’re overthinking it. Here are some simple tests that do not require any expensive tools and you could give them a try at any hour of the day!

  • The wrist test

    Lick the inside of your wrist and once your saliva is dry, smell the area that you licked.

  • The floss test

    After flossing your teeth, take a sniff at the floss, as this is an indication of how it smells in between your teeth.

  • The gauze test

    If you’ve some medical gauze lying around at home, cut a small piece and wrap it around your finger. Then, wipe the gauze on your tongue and smell the gauze. This will tell you how your tongue smells.

  • The friendship test

    Are you willing to put your friendship to the test? Get a trusted friend to sniff your breath and give you an honest answer.

If there is an unpleasant smell after giving the above tests a try, you can either try the solutions mentioned above or to share your concerns with your dentist as there is a possibility that you might have bad breath.

After all, your mouth is a personal space and for some, it is not easy to discuss your dental concerns as you may feel embarrassed talking about it. A dental professional will address all your dental concerns by giving you the assistance and guidance that you need, with no judgment. Consult our dental professionals at i.Dental today!

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