There are many things that can cause one’s self confidence to shake, but bad smelling breath is surely one of them. Bad breath or halitosis can certainly be embarrassing or cause anxiety at times. Although there are many products that promise to fight bad breath, most of them are temporary, because they only treat the smell itself and not the cause.
Causes of bad breath
There are many foods, habits and even health conditions that can cause one’s breath to smell badly.
In most cases, consistent, proper healthcare and good oral hygiene is the key to get rid of bad breath. You have to take care of your teeth and gums too. Poor oral hygiene can cause bacteria to form on the tongue too, which also leads to bad smelling breath.
In more extreme cases there are some health problems that can cause bad breath, or bad taste lingering in one’s mouth. Bad breath can be a sign of periodontal disease or gum disease. This is caused by tartar or plaque build-up. If gum disease is left untreated, it can cause more serious problems and damage the teeth, gums and even the jawbone. Other health conditions, like respiratory infections, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorder, liver or kidney disorder also might cause bad breath.
Other problems can be poorly fitted dentures, yeast infections in the mouth and cavities. Dry mouth or xerostomia is often a key component of bad breath. When there is not enough saliva, the mouth is not able to clean itself, therefore the bacteria and food particles cannot be removed.
Tobacco products, like cigarettes or cigars not only stain the teeth but can cause bad breath aside from other diseases. Smokers are at higher risk for periodontal disease, the loss of the ability to taste, irritated gums or oral cancer.
What is the treatment for halitosis?
The treatment of bad breath hugely depends on the cause of the condition.
If the cause is bad oral hygiene, a simple visit to the dentist will solve your problem, and if you maintain good oral hygiene, it won’t come back.
If the cause is gum disease, you will also have to visit your dentist, but for a more extensive treatment. You’ll most likely be referred to a periodontist, who will perform a periodontal cleaning. This removes the tartar, plaque and bacteria that has been built up, and is causing an inflammation at the gums.
If the reason for bad breath is a health condition, a sure diagnosis is to be done first and then a treatment for said health condition will get rid of bad breath.
How can bad breath be prevented?
Halitosis can be largely decreased or prevented if you pay attention to a few things in your life.
- Brush the teeth and gums at least twice a day for 2-3 minutes
- Use toothpaste with fluoride
- Make sure to clean your tongue too with a scraper or a cleaner
- Clean between your teeth too, with interdental brushes and floss
- Get regular dental check-ups
- If you have dentures, keep them clean and remove them at night
- Use sugar-free mint or chewing gums after eating strong-smelling food
- Try using antibacterial toothpaste or mouthwash
- Do not smoke
- Do not rinse with water straight after brushing your teeth
- Do not have lots of sugary foods and drinks
- Do not brush your teeth hard, that can cause them to bleed.