Are you concerned about the smell of your breath, or have you been told by someone close to you that you suffer from bad breath?
Mouthwashes and minty gums can provide temporary relief, but these are band aid solutions that don’t address the underlying cause of bad breath.
What Causes Bad Breath?
While we’d like nothing better than to have fresh minty breath all the time, this is not the case. Bacteria living in our mouths can break down proteins and give off unpleasant odours. The bacteria in the mouth live and thrive in a dark, warm environment. One way to tell if you have bad breath is to floss your teeth and smell the floss.
Bad breath can be caused by:
- Poor oral hygiene
- Dry mouth
- Smoking and tobacco products
- Foods such as garlic, onions and spices
- Certain diseases and health problems
- Some medications that cause dry mouth
- Mouth breathing and airway issues
Poor Dental Hygiene
A good oral care regime helps to remove and minimise the number of bacteria in the mouth, which is the source of the unpleasant odours escaping your mouth.
Regular dental hygiene is essential not only to your fresh breath, but also to your oral health in general.
Certain foods are worse than others. Onions, garlic, spices, dairy, meat and fish are some of the repeat offenders. Processed and refined sugars can also give you bad breath.
You may not want to hear this but – coffee might do it as well because of its acidic nature which provides a perfect breeding environment for the bacteria.
A dry mouth provides the perfect environment for bacteria to thrive in. Some medications for instance can lead to dry mouth. It is important to hydrate with water regularly throughout the day. In addition, dry mouth gels can assist with reducing the effects of a dry mouth.
What Can You Do to Help Prevent Bad Breath?
- Brushing your teeth twice a day for about two minutes to remove bacteria and plaque
- Remember to floss to clean plaque and debris from between your teeth
- Scraping your tongue to remove bacteria
- Rinsing your mouth with mouthwash
- Staying away from foods that can affect the breath
- Drinking plenty of water
- Giving up or cutting down smoking
- Chewing sugar-free gum after meals to stimulate saliva
- If you suspect mouth breathing or airway issues seek a professional assessment
- Keeping your gums in a healthy condition
If you’re concerned about your breath or oral health, visit your dentist so they can assess your teeth and gum health.