Did you know that 1 in 4 people suffer from bad breath? Bad breath, or halitosis, is a condition caused by bacteria generally found on the back of the tongue and in the throat. When this specific type of oral bacteria builds up, it releases odorous sulphur compounds that have a bad smell. Halitosis is a multifactorial disease – meaning that there are many factors that can contribute to it. Underlying health conditions and certain medications can affect your breath, however, the most common reason for bad breath is poor health of the mouth itself.
Follow these tips to keep your breath fresh:
Practice good oral hygiene
The number one way to keep your breath fresh is to practice good oral hygiene. Odour producing oral bacteria thrives on food debris in your mouth, therefore ensuring that your teeth and tongue are clean is a necessity. Brushing your teeth twice a day as well as flossing is the best way to ensure a clean oral environment and will help prevent gum disease and tooth decay.
Oral bacteria loves sugar! A diet that is high in sugar and starch will only exacerbate these symptoms, so try switching to healthier food choices. Additionally, be aware of short term diet-related causes of bad breath. Garlic, onion, coffee and strong spices are common foods that have a strong, lingering odour. Tobacco and alcohol consumption is to also be avoided.
When we are dehydrated, the body produces less saliva causing our mouths to dry out. This is not ideal as our saliva contains components that naturally keep the bad oral bacteria under control. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will ensure adequate saliva flow and keep everything healthy! If you find that your mouth is still dry, you may suffer from xerostomia which can lead to other issues such as tooth decay – come in to see us, and we can help identify the problem and personalise a plan of attack for you.
The mechanical action of chewing gum helps to stimulate saliva production, wash away leftover food particles, and neutralise the acidity of your mouth. Always choose a sugar-free gum and chew it after meals for best results.
Use the right mouthwash
When selecting a mouthwash, it is important to pay attention to the ingredients – alcohol containing mouthwashes are not ideal as they can dry out your mouth and actually worsen your breath overtime. Mouthwash that contains oxygenated ingredients such as sodium chloride or chlorine dioxide are the best way to go. Using a mouthwash can be very effective in relieving bad breath, however these generally only work as a short term solution. Your dental professional might recommend an antibacterial mouthwash to reduce the bacteria in your mouth.
Have regular check-ups and cleans
When it comes to bad breath, there can be a number of underlying factors contributing to the problem – and no two mouths are the same. If bad breath is something you are suffering from, you are not alone! See our team at Smile Central and we will work with you to identify the cause and figure out a way to best treat the problem. We recommend coming in every 6 months for a check-up and clean. During these appointments, we identify any potential problems early to avoid serious health issues down the track.
So, if you have any other concerns about your bad breath please call us on (07) 3263 1310 to make an appointment with our Oral Health Therapist who can give you more specific advice tailored to your needs.
The content on this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of qualified health providers with questions you may have regarding medical conditions.