Bad Breath, medically known as halitosis or fetor oris affects an estimated 25 % of people globally. There are a number of possible causes for Bad Breath but most of them are related to oral hygiene.
Having a Bad Breath can cause significant worry, embarrassment, and anxiety but very few know that it is relatively easy to get rid of it.
Here are 6 main causes of bad breath and ways to get rid of them:
Teeth cannot shed their surfaces the way skin can, so microorganisms can easily attach to the teeth and remain there for extended period developing into something biofilm, commonly known as plaque.
90% of bad breath comes from proteins break down in your mouth. Foods such as meat, fish and dairy products contain dense proteins, which are used as a food source by the anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria. Refined and processed sugar is also a food source for the bacteria's in our mouth. Acidic food such as coffee and juices also provide an ideal environment for their breeding.
The Medical term for Dry Mouth is Xerostomia, and it provides an environment perfect for the reproduction of bacteria in the mouth. Dry mouth can be caused by a number of reasons such as smoking, drinking alcohol, and sometimes from speaking for long periods. A majority of individuals experience foul breath in the morning due to lack of saliva production while sleeping. However, people suffering from dry mouth and lack of saliva find that even minor food odours may lead to long-term issues.
People who smoke tobacco or consume it in any form suffer from the problem of bad breath. Smoking and chewing of tobacco dries out your mouth and gives rise to gum disease, increasing the risk of developing cancer. In addition to bad breath, it also results in stained teeth, irritation in the gum tissue and exacerbates tooth decay.
Fasting and low-carb eating can also be a reason for the foul smell production in your mouth. This happens as the body starts breaking down fat producing chemicals called ketones. These ketones have a strong aroma and can be a reason for your bad breath.
An estimated 10% of all Bad Breath cases are caused by certain illnesses.Sometimes, small, bacteria-covered stones can form on the tonsils at the back of the throat and produce odour. Inflammations in the nose, throat, or sinus can also cause bad breath. Individuals suffering from diabetes, lung diseases, kidney diseases, cancer, liver diseases etc. often experience foul breath.
The best method to control your bad breath is a good oral hygiene. A good oral hygiene ensures that cavities are avoided and reduces the likelihood of gum diseases. It is also recommended that you should visit the dentist twice a year for check-up and cleaning. Here are 6 easy ways to keep away the foul smell:
Be sure to brush your teeth at least twice a day, preferably after each meal. Bacteria, food and dead cells commonly build up on the tongue and around the teeth, causing bad breath. A tongue scraper can sometimes be useful.
Flossing your teeth reduces the buildup of food particles and plaque from between the teeth. Its important as brushing the teeth only cleans around 60% of the surface of the teeth.
Studies have shown that Tobacco users are at higher risk of developing periodontal diseases and dry mouth. Individuals who smoke may also engage in activities such as drinking alcohol, dieting etc. making their condition even worse.
Drinking plenty of water or chewing gum or a sweet, preferably sugar-free can help stimulate the production of saliva and can keep your mouth from getting dry. If the mouth is chronically dry, a doctor may prescribe medication to stimulate the production of saliva.
Try to stay away from onions, garlic, and spicy food. Sugary foods along with coffee and alcohol are also linked to bad breath. Eating rough foods and foods that are fibrous can be helpful in controlling bad breath.
Although bad breath is rarely associated with life-threatening diseases, it is important that you consult your doctor or dentist as soon as you feel your situation is getting worse. Sometimes bad breath is triggered by severe health conditions such as throat or mouth cancers, HIV infections, diabetes etc. Make sure you visit your dentist twice a year.
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