Bad breath is one of those dreaded hygiene problems that can ruin one’s confidence permanently. While interacting with people it can be a huge source of awkwardness, it can destroy one’s social image and mar one’s first impression! Utmost care must be taken to avoid it.
The main cause of bad breath is the degeneration of food substances, as the bacteria gorge on the food particles left on one’s teeth, they create volatile sulfur compounds which release the foul odor. Why just the mouth? Such reactions take place all around the place, any unattended food left over a period of time will eventually begin to stink. Similarly just as the food continues to decay within one’s teeth, tongue and gums the compounds get created and the repugnant odor, commonly known as bad breath, gets released. Plaque, the translucent film of bacteria which is constantly forming in one’s mouth along with cavities and gum diseases are often responsible for bad odor as well. When the problem worsens due to negligence the condition turns to halitosis.
The major factors causing bad breath and its effective remedies are discussed below.
BRUSH AND FLOSS:
Gaps between teeth and gums act like tiny food containers that need to be cleaned everyday religiously. As soon as any food substance is allowed to remain within the small gaps it will gradually start decomposing and this process is sure to emit a bad odor from one’s mouth. One can prevent it by brushing and flossing one’s teeth two times a day and this needs to be done especially after rich and spicy meals. So make this a part of daily hygiene habits. Read more on How to brush your teeth properly.
Odor causing bacteria hide deep within the crevices of the tongue. In order to keep the mouth free from bad breath it has to be remembered that the tongue is as important as the teeth. So make it a point to take out food caught between the fine fibers on the surface of the tongue. Remember to pay special attention to the rear end of the tongue because usually this is the breeding ground of odor causing bacteria, but while at it one must also be careful from choking oneself. Invest in a good tongue cleaner today! Washing the tongue with a mixture of baking soda dissolved in a glass of warm water can also do wonders.
Get into the practice of finishing every meal and every drink with a quick swirl of water as a mouth rinsing agent. Most leftover food particles or other potentially odor causing materials get flushed out by the force of the water.
Drinking plenty of water has ample benefits in the foul breath control department as well! An abnormally dry mouth, a condition known as xerostomia, can be a foremost factor in causing foul smelling breath. That unpleasant morning breath is the result of reduced saliva flow at night. A dry mouth is an ideal home for odor causing bacteria to flourish in. Saliva keeps the mouth moist and drinking water stimulates saliva flow which in turn washes away all unwanted food particles. Dehydration of the mouth caused by the reaction of some drug, diet, talking, indulging in tobacco and alcohol can be only remedied by drinking plenty of water.
A green and healthy diet will perhaps never cease to benefit the human body. Eating coarse textured vegetables like carrots, apples and celery will automatically clean the tongue thereby helping it to fight bad breath bacteria.
Quit smoking! Apart from ruining one’s health smoking also causes smelly breath! So another important reason to ban tobacco from one’s mouth.
Mouth fresheners especially the ones containing chlorine dioxide are great. The chlorine dioxide present here directly attacks the volatile sulfur compounds accountable for the foul smell. But then again, with chlorine dioxide or without, mouth fresheners are the quickest ways to eliminate bad smelling breath. If a mouth fresheners however is being regularly used then one must think about choosing one that contains xylitol.
Natural mouth fresheners like parsley will definitely clear up smelly breath since it is stocked with loads of chlorophyll which will give off a fresh smell. Apart from parsley one can also try out chewing cinnamon bark, basil, fennel seeds, clove, cardamom, thyme or rosemary, in very small amounts of course, to fight against mouth odor. So ransack the kitchen for effective yet cheap ready to use mouth fresheners!
Think of chewing gum, preferably the sugarless variety, if brushing after every little meal sounds impractical. Avoiding chewing gums that contain sugar is prudent because sugar will lead to the accumulation of plaque. The chewing is a good workout for the gums as it strengthens them and since it aids in the stimulation of the flow of saliva, the teeth, tongue and gums get automatically cleaned and the odor forming volatile sulfur compounds also gets dissolved. These measures are of course temporary, as the effect will last a little longer than the chewing gum itself.
Aromatic or medicinal oils like peppermint or tee tree oil can be used as an effective tool against bad breath by placing a few drops on the tongue or using it on one’s toothbrush along with the toothpaste. Even selecting the right toothbrush and mouthwash that has natural oils with proven antibacterial qualities can be a major aid to the fight against bacteria that leads to halitosis.
Tonsils can also be a cause of bad breath since it holds a mass of bacteria and sometimes even tonsil stones! The blend of both these conditions is enough to stimulate a huge source of foul smells that perhaps no amount of teeth or tongue cleaning can remedy. But there is nothing to worry about since these stones can very easily be dissolved and the bacteria thus wiped out.
A yearly visit to the dentist is always a good idea for everyone. Most of us are not even aware of the tooth problems we suffer from till a lot of time has lapsed and a lot of damage done. A dentist is trained to recognize these periodontal (which is a disease that attacks the gum and bone and around the teeth) and other potentially damaging problems at an early stage apart from diagnosing other mouth odor causing problems like abscesses and impacted teeth. Signs that indicate that one may be having periodontal disease include loose sensitive teeth and painful, tender, red or swollen gums which often bleed or are puss filled. Treatment of such diseases is essential to have a healthy odor free mouth.
THINK BEFORE EATING:
Everything that enters one’s mouth needs to be thoroughly scrutinized! If one indulges in a meal which is exceptionally spicy and full of garlic and onions then one is asking for troubles with bad breath. Avoiding food like garlic, onions, cabbage, certain spices, coffee, fish and meat is a good decision. Food rich in protein like fish, meat, cheese, milk and other milk products are worse for unclean smelling breath because the high level of proteins content manages to nourish the bacteria that convert these proteins into sulfur compounds which in turn cause the foul odor in the mouth. When the bacteria break down the lactose protein and release amino, this in turn ends up converting into volatile sulfur compounds. Consuming these products without rinsing the mouth afterwards will turn the mouth into a feeding ground to these anaerobic bacteria. The stink of milk gone bad is caused by the similar bacteria that create odorous breath. For those who are lactose intolerant and suffer from mouth odor, it is a good idea to not consume milk at all as it can make the problem even worse.
Bad breath can be battled if strict personal hygiene routine is maintained every single day. The effort will definitely pay off when the most turning off factor while interaction is totally eradicated. All the remedies discussed so far are easily available and do not require any herculean strength for conduction. Try them to live a bad breath banned life!