What is halitosis?
What’s more attractive than a beautiful smile and a healthy set of aligned teeth? We’ll tell you! A fresh breath. According to many people, there’s nothing more repellent than a smelling mouth during everyday interaction.
No matter your social rank or status in society or how nice a person you may be, an unpleasant breath will impact your relationships and may move your friends away from you!
Does your breath smell?! Let’s read on to see what causes bad breath or halitosis, the symptoms, and how to prevent or improve the condition.
What causes bad breath?
Causes of bad breath or halitosis
Several factors may contribute to bad breath, but knowing the main underlying cause will help deal with the problem easier and achieve the desired result in a shorter period.
A smelly breath may be a warning sign of poor oral hygiene, a dental or medical condition, or simply the result of the food you have had.
Outlined below are some of the most common causes of bad breath:
Poor dental hygiene
- By practising good oral hygiene, you can enjoy a healthy fresh mouth. Proper brushing and flossing will remove the food particles between your teeth and gums and prevent bad breath.
- Every time you eat something, a sticky substance of bacteria called dental plaque starts to form on your teeth that need to be removed daily by regular brushing; otherwise, it will build up, hurt your gums, and cause bad breath.
- Odour-producing bacteria can be traped on the surface of your tongue, causing bad breath, which is why our Brisbane dentists suggest you brush your tongue as well, every time you clean your teeth.
- Denture-wearers should keep their dentures clean because dentures can collect bacteria and produce strong odours. Dental braces’ wires and brackets can also be good places to trap particles of some foods and cause bad breath.
Saliva is a fluid produced by our salivary glands and cleanses the mouth, and keeps our mouth moist. Dry mouth occurs due to the lack of enough saliva in the mouth or certain medications, which can contribute to bad breath.
Breathing through the mouth=unpleasant morning breath
When you sleep, your mouth gets dry, especially if you tend to sleep with your mouth open; breathing through your mouth is usually the cause of bad breath in the morning.
Stress and drinking too much alcohol can also cause bad breath.
If your bad breath originates from a dry mouth, it can be treated by applying lifestyle changes.
In some cases (rare), dry mouth and insufficient saliva in the mouth might be because of a problem in your salivary glands; you can make an appointment with your family doctor to have them checked.
Certain foods may naturally cause your bad breath with strong odours like onions, garlic, spices, coffee, and orange juice. After being digested, these foods are absorbed into the bloodstream and will find their way to your lung and temporarily cause bad breath.
Who can deny the harmful effects of smoking on the body? Well, for your information, according to the American Dental Association, smoking can affect your oral health as well!
Tobacco products can damage your teeth and gums, cause tooth discolouration, gum disease, and halitosis.
You may think chewing tobacco-based products may be harmless and a safe alternative to cigarettes! We regret to tell you that there’s NO HARMLESS tobacco use! All tobacco-based products carry risks for your health.
Seek advice today on how to quit smoking and lower your risks of developing tobacco-related health issues. Family physicians may help with smoking cessation using some motivational interviewing techniques or giving effective medications.
If your gums are red and swollen and bleed while you brush and floss, you probably feel an unpleasant smell coming from your mouth too! These are common signs of periodontal disease or gum disease.
Trapped food particles in between your teeth and around your gums and poor dental hygiene can cause tooth decay and gum disease. Periodontal disease can be the underlying cause of halitosis.
Some medical conditions can also make people suffer from bad breath. A doctor needs to address chronic bad breath that won’t disappear even when eliminating bacteria and practising good oral hygiene.
Here are some medical conditions that may be causing bad breath:
- Some types of cancer
- Liver disorder
- Kidney disease
- GERD or Gastroesophageal reflux disease; a digestive disorder causing stomach acids reflux
- Sleep apnea; breathing interruptions during sleep
- Sinus infections
- Metabolic dysfunctions
Consult your doctor about your symptoms and seek advice if you think your bad breath originates from some health conditions. Your doctor may provide medical advice on improving bad breath that originates from a possible medical condition.
How can I test my own bad breath?
The sniff test: lick your wrist, let it dry for a moment, and take a whiff, you should be able to get an idea if your breath has an odour.
Infection in the mouth
Infection of the nose or throat and sinus infection can cause bad breath, as well. In some cases, infection after oral surgery or tooth extraction can cause bad breath.
What are the symptoms of bad breath?
Naturally, the most obvious sign would be an unpleasant smell coming from the mouth, but that’s not the only sign.
- Feeling a bad taste in your mouth
- A white coating on the tongue
- Bad breath persists even after brushing, flossing, or using mouthwash
- A dry mouth
How to prevent bad breath?
We understand how bad breath can lower your confidence and affect your relationships; that’s why we have prepared some simple, easy-to-do tips for you to get rid of smelly breath.
Ways to improve bad breath
Practice good oral hygiene and fight bad breath
Plaque is a film of bacteria that can cause tooth decay, gum disease, and halitosis! Prevent plaque buildup by brushing your teeth regularly.
- Brush your teeth twice a day and floss daily.
- Follow a correct brushing technique to prevent food particles stuck between your teeth.
- Floss daily using dental floss to get rid of food particles from between your teeth.
- Brush your tongue to eliminate bacteria; using a tongue scraper can help. Keeping your tongue clean and bacteria-free is of great importance to avoid halitosis.
- Use mouth rinses and antiseptic mouthwashes to kill bacteria and keep your breath fresh.
- Change your toothbrush every three months.
- Keep your dentures, braces, or retainers clean.
- Ask your dentist for help and tips on practising oral hygiene with dentures, braces, etc.
- Try sugarless gum to distract your mind every time you need to smoke.
- No! Chewing tobacco-based products won’t help!
- Ask your dentist to show you ways to stop smoking.
Arrange regular visits with your dentist
The American dental association recommends regular visits with your dentist for optimal oral health.
- Visit your Brisbane dentist for a regular dental scale and clean to ensure your oral health and spot any problem at its early stage.
- Your dentist may perform a thorough oral exam to see what’s happening inside your mouth, prevent bad breath, or treat it.
Drink lots of water to avoid a dry mouth
- You can keep your mouth moist and help stimulate the flow of saliva by chewing sugar-free gum.
- Please don’t go too far on drinking alcohol, as it can cause a dry mouth and eventually bad breath.
- Ask your dentist to introduce alcohol-free mouth rinses to you to avoid dry mouth.