Bad breath can be a common problem among a lot of people. In general, bad breath is caused by bacteria in the mouth or the digestive tract. Some go away with simple brushing, while some appear to be health-related and require medical attention.
The first kind of bad breath mentioned is called transient halitosis. It’s commonly caused by the food we eat as well as poor oral hygiene. The second type, called chronic halitosis, is caused by excess oral bacteria that could have affected the oral cavity, cavity formations on the teeth, or gum infections like periodontitis.
Again, most mouth specialists would advice observing proper oral hygiene, like brushing every after meals, gargling, brushing the tongue and cheeks, and visiting the dentist once or twice a year. Seeing an internist can also help for worst cases wherein the bad oral odour is already coming from the digestive tract.
But aside from the common course of treatment for halitosis, simple lifestyle changes can also help improve bad breath. Here are some of them:
- Drink lots of water. If you’re like a lot of people who are used to drinking soda or sugary drinks, try going back to plain water. Water helps loosen bacteria from the mouth and flush it out of the system, avoid bacteria build-up.
- Minimise your alcohol consumption. The stench of the alcohol sticks to the mouth, giving you bad breath. If possible, drink water with your alcohol, to wash down the odour.
- Cut back on sugar. Bacteria feeds on sugar. The more it gets to feed, the more by-products it gets to dump into your mouth, leading to undesirable breath odours. Minimising sugar in your diet avoids that as well as lessens the chances of forming tooth decay.
- If you are unable to brush after meals, make do with water. Swish water around the mouth to loosen bacteria in the mouth and food stuck in between teeth.
Having bad breath can be a hassle, especially if you’re one whose livelihood depends on mingling with other people. Save yourself from this hassle and observe proper hygiene. Your mouth, not to mention the people you talk to, will love you for it.
Article by Mark Walters