Bad breath, medically known as halitosis is any foul smell that emits from your mouth. It is something that not only affects you but people around you too. Any foul smell from your mouth should not just be a cause of embarrassment but a cause for concern too.
So what causes bad breath?
1. Strong smelling food:
Foods like onions and garlic that have a strong smell cause bad breath. They contain sulfur compounds that breakdown in our oral cavity and are the main culprit behind the odour.
2.Poor oral hygiene:
Just brushing once in the morning is not enough to maintain proper oral hygiene. Food stuck between your teeth and gums can be a cause of bad breath.
3. Drinking less water:
Decreased water intake causes your mouth to dry up and makes your saliva more viscous. When the saliva becomes thick its flow is reduced. This causes a decrease in its ability to keep your mouth clean and maintain the pH of your oral cavity.
4. Systemic diseases:
In some cases, bad breath could be a symptom of an underlying disease like diabetes or liver and kidney disease. Your dentist would be able to tell you better on examination and refer to the right specialist.
5. Gum diseases:
Any disease of your gums could also be a reason for your bad breath. Infections like periodontitis, gingivitis and abscess can cause your mouth to emit a foul smell.
Tips to get rid of bad breath:
1. Drink plenty of water:
Drink at least 8 glasses of water every day. Keeping your body hydrated is very important. It makes your saliva less viscous, increasing its ability to flow in your mouth as well as help in maintaining its pH. Drinking water will keep your body hydrated as well as clean your mouth of any food debris.
2. Brush twice a day:
Brushing at night is as important as brushing in the morning. Remnants of dinner that are stuck in your teeth will remain there all night if not brushed. These food particles will decay in your mouth as you sleep causing your mouth to smell.
3. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months:
1 brush should not be used for more than 3 months. The bristles of your brush become frayed over a period of time and lose their effectiveness. It is important to change your brush every 3 months for a proper oral hygiene.
4. Scrape your tongue every morning:
Just like brushing, it is important to scrape debris off your tongue every morning. Most of the times, it is the coating on your tongue that is responsible for the bad breath.
5. Floss every day:
Flossing removes the food stuck between your teeth. Food stuck between two tooth is responsible for is difficult to reach with a brush and is responsible for most of the dental and periodontal infection.
6. Use alcohol-free mouthwash:
Using alcohol-free mouthwash can help you keep your mouth minty fresh. If the ingredients of your mouthwash contain ethanol, stay away from it. Alcohol will dry out the insides of your mouth and dehydrate it.
7. Consume sprouts and green leafy vegetables:
Sprouts and green leafy vegetables are high in fibres and act as a natural toothbrush.
8. Rinse your mouth after every meal:
Rinsing your mouth after every meal removes any food debris stuck between your teeth and in crevices. Doing so would not only eliminate and protects your mouth against any bacterial attack.
9. Avoid strong smelling food:
Any strong smelling food, once consumed, would cause your mouth smell. This smell does not go till the food eaten is not completely broken down in your mouth which usually takes hours. So avoid consumption of strong smelling food if you want to avoid bad breath.
10.Visit your dentist every year:
Get your teeth checked up regularly, at least once a year. Regular dental visits will help your dentist diagnose problems at early stages. Your dentist can identify the cause of your bad breath and help you in solving the problem from the root.