About Bad Breath & Halitosis
When simple brushing and flossing routinely fail to freshen your breath and complete strangers repeatedly offer you mints, you may have a larger problem called halitosis.
Just Bad Breath
It is important to understand that occasional bad breath is not the same as halitosis. Bad breath usually occurs when food particles linger on and between teeth, gums and tongues after eating, causing an increase in bacteria and odor. Usually brushing, flossing and rinsing will rectify this. Many, if not most, people, experience more odor after eating spicy foods, such as onions and garlic, or drinking coffee and alcohol. Once digested, these foods enter your bloodstream, which then affects the lungs and your breath, emitting an unpleasant odor every time you exhale.
Here are the top remedies to neutralize common bad breath:
- Brush teeth, cheeks and the roof of your mouth and floss two to three times daily
- Replace your toothbrush every 2 to 3 months
- Get your dental cleaning every 6 months to keep odor causing plaque at bay
- Keep bacteria in check with an alcohol-free mouthwash
- Clean your tongue with a tongue scraper to effectively remove bacteria
- Check out natural remedies like chewing anise, clove, mint or parsley
- Have patience as it may take up to 3 days for food to work its way through your system
If “upping” your oral hygiene routine and limiting spicy foods in your diet still leaves you with that “not so fresh” aroma, you could have halitosis. Read on to learn more and schedule a dentist appointment today!
Roughly 80 million or 25 to 30% of people worldwide suffer from halitosis or persistent, chronic bad breath. This problem usually resides on the tongue and gums where debris, decayed food and neglect of dental care create a sulfurous compound and its pungent odor.
This embarrassing problem is largely due to oral issues such as cavities, cracked fillings, dirty dentures and gum disease.
Diets that are high in protein, acids and sugar, play a role as well. Excessive intake of spicy foods, coffee, alcohol and smoking will lead to halitosis or chronic bad breath.
Weight loss is an additional cause of bad breath due to the chemicals released when fat breaks down.
Most people experience morning breath due to reduced saliva production and “fasting”, but sleeping with your mouth open can worsen this due to dry mouth (xerostomia). Upon awakening drink and swish plenty of water and grab a bite to alleviate this.
Medical conditions such as allergies, respiratory issues (sinusitis, bronchitis, snoring, etc.), diabetes, lung, kidney or liver disease and cancer will also cause halitosis. Additional factors include age and hormonal fluctuations.
Clearly, we are all vulnerable to this problem, but, thankfully your family dentist can help find the solution.