Have you ever had bad breath? Do you struggle to maintain fresh breath all day long? If so, you are not alone! Bad breath is an embarrassing issue for millions of people worldwide. According to a recent review, one out of every three persons probably has bad breath (also known as halitosis)!
Although desirable, maintaining fresh breath is quite challenging. Why? This is due to the rapid build-up of germs in the mouth after every meal, drink or snack you eat. These germs are bacteria that produce foul smelling gases while feeding on pieces of food trapped in the mouth. The germs are most active during bedtime which is why people often wake with unpleasant mouth odours.
Of course, bad breath affects our relationships with others at home, work or school. Therefore, many people spend money on chewing gums, peppermint, mouth sprays and mouth wash which temporarily masks mouth odour . Nevertheless, the use of these may not always be appropriate, healthy and affordable.
What are the common causes of bad breath?
- Poor oral hygiene
- Dry mouth
- Food and drink
- Infections in the mouth
To stop bad breath, you should aim to get rid of the source of bad breath rather than mask it with mouth sprays.
Focus on the most common cause of bad breath- poor oral hygiene. These would involve getting rid of germs, food particles and dead cells. Removing all three may be all that you need to do to stop halitosis.
Are there cheap and effective ways of getting rid of food particles, germs and dead cells that cause bad breath? Yes! Consider the following:
Brush your teeth regularly after eating.
If you have a snack at bedtime, be sure to brush your teeth thoroughly before going to sleep. When you are asleep, mouth motion is limited and bacteria can especially act upon any bits of food remaining in the mouth.
Scrape your tongue
Do you remember to brush your tongue with the toothbrush? This effectively rids mouth odour by removing smelly bacteria that may have accumulated on the tongue. Do you have a tongue scraper? This could be very useful tool in scraping of dead cells from the tongue.
Avoid foods that cause bad breath
Although, onions and garlic are super foods with lots of benefits, everyone agrees they are notorious sources of bad mouth odour too. Unfortunately, brushing after eating these foods may not reduce bad breath because they are absorbed by the bloodstream and releases through breathing over 72 hours. If you have to eat garlic or onions, do so in way that minimizes the smell. Tobacco also makes it difficult to maintain fresh breath, so avoid it at all cost.
Drink plenty of water
Apart from quenching that thirst, water moistens the mouth and makes it unfavourable for foul smelling bacteria. Plain water is a cheap but effective alternative to chewing gums and mouthwash after meals. All you have to do is swish the mouth with water to remove food items between teeth.
Interestingly, one survey of what people think of bad breath in Nigeria, recently reported that very few people know that bad breath may signal the presence of more serious health problems. It is important to note that halitosis may also be due to serious health conditions like gum disease, tooth decay, diabetes or kidney failure driving bad breath. Suspect more serious health problems if halitosis persists despite brushing properly.
To get rid of persistent bad breath you will need to treat these health problems too. Never take oral hygiene for granted, do not hesitate to seek proper dental evaluation and treatment.