What causes bad breath?
Have you struggled with bad breath? If so, you are not alone. Countless Americans battle halitosis, and some do so regularly. Those with bad breath tend to be more unhappy with their oral health than others and often have anxiety about the impacts of their breath on their social interactions. So if you are suffering from stinky breath, what can you do to obtain a cleaner, fresher mouth? What can you do to banish bad breath for good? Read on to learn how.
Before we get into how to banish bad breath, let’s take a look at what causes it in the first place. With knowledge comes power, and by knowing how your bad breath came to be, you can start taking the proper steps to obtain a fresher mouth.
Let’s start with understanding the impacts of food on our breath. As you eat, food breaks down in your mouth. Food is also absorbed into your bloodstream and even into your lungs, which impacts the air you exhale. So, if you eat food that has strong odors, even brushing, flossing, and a good mouthwash might not cover up the odor. The reality is the lingering smell from these foods won’t go away until the food exits your body.
Pay close attention to how your breath smells when you eat certain spices, cheese, pastramis, alcohol, sodas, and juices. And if you are dieting, it is essential to know that as your body breaks down fat, the chemical release process can leave your breath smelling far from pleasant.
Like the foods you eat, certain illnesses and medical conditions can affect how fresh your breath is or isn’t. Gum disease, in particular, is highly associated with bad breath and for obvious reasons. But you may also experience bad breath if you have a respiratory tract infection, seasonal allergies, chronic sinus infections, or postnasal drip. Diabetes, gastrointestinal issues and illnesses, chronic lung disease, and liver or kidney problems can also lead to halitosis.
Though it can be hard to control certain illnesses and what we eat, there are certain bad habits that many of us have that can increase our chances of developing a stinky mouth. The following habits are highly associated with bad breath.
- Smoking or using tobacco products
- Not brushing teeth twice per day
- Not flossing once per day
- Not rinsing with a fluoridated mouthwash once per day
- Excessive alcohol consumption
Similarly, practicing good oral hygiene can really help your mouth, but more on that later.
Home Remedies to Banish Bad Breath
Now that you understand the importance of good oral hygiene, you might be interested in learning what else you can do at home to reduce your chances of bad breath. Check out these ten things you can try at home.
- Apple: Eat some apple slices after consuming a meal containing garlic.
- Baking soda mouthwash: Though it might not be the tastiest solution, add two teaspoons of baking soda to one cup of warm water, then swish in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting out.
- Fennel seeds: Try eating a few fennel seeds—either plain, roasted, or coated—with just a little bit of sugar.
- Green tea: Sip on eight ounces of green tea throughout the day.
- Milk: Milk definitely does a body good, so be sure to drink one glass of milk during or after a meal, especially if the food contains garlic or onions.
- Oranges: Oranges are full of vitamin C, which helps increase saliva production and, in turn, can help eliminate bad breath.
- Parsley: Chew on fresh leaves after each meal or purchase a parsley dietary supplement.
- Pineapple juice: Drink a glass of organic pineapple juice after every meal.
- Water: Drinking plenty of water each day not only helps with bad breath, but it is also a great way to cure dry mouth.
- Yogurt: Eat at least one serving of plain, nonfat yogurt per day.
Dental Solutions to Combat Bad Breath
We said before that we would come back to the whole concept of good oral hygiene, and here we are. The fact is one of the best things you can do to keep your breath smelling fresh is to practice good oral hygiene. Not only does good oral hygiene help you love the smile you’re with, but it also helps take care of your overall health. So, check out this list of dental solutions that can help cure bad breath and serve as a dry mouth cure too.
- Brush your teeth with a soft-bristled toothbrush twice a day for two minutes each time
- Don’t forget tongue scraping when brushing your teeth
- Floss between all of your teeth at least once per day
- Rinse your mouth with a fluoridated mouthwash at least once per day
- See your dentist every six months for an oral examination and dental cleaning
- Chew sugarless gum throughout the day to help keep hunger at bay and increase saliva production
When to Call Your Dentist About Bad Breath
Sometimes, despite our best efforts, halitosis won’t go away. So if you have been battling bad breath and have tried all of our suggestions, it is time to give your dentist a call. If you live in the Duvall, Washington, area, request an appointment with Duvall Dental Center using the form on our website or give us a call. During your visit, we’ll conduct an oral assessment to ensure your mouth has a clean bill of health. And if needed, we’ll refer you to a physician to check for other causes.