Bad breath is an issue that affects lots of different people, and one that can cause discomfort for both you and those around you. In some cases, it can even impact your social life and become a significant source of stress. The good news is, halitosis is completely treatable! This article covers its causes, treatments, and a few tips from our specialists.
What is Halitosis?
Halitosis occurs when your breath takes on a persistently unpleasant odour. Simply put, it’s bad breath! This highly inconvenient issue can quickly have an impact on your social life, especially because it’s not always easy to notice it yourself.
Potential causes of bad breath
Halitosis is generally created by bacteria that are stuck to your teeth, gums, or even your tongue, which produce unpleasant sulphuric chemical compounds. Aside from that, many different factors can lead to temporary or chronic bad breath:
- Eating certain foods, like garlic and onion. Bad breath associated with these infamous foods is a result of organic compounds that enter the bloodstream and are expelled by the lungs – i.e. the air you exhale.
- Different illnesses are related to the digestive tract, from the throat to the lungs and even the sinuses. Halitosis can also be a symptom of diabetes.
- Hunger! If you skip a meal or wait too long to eat, it can affect your breath. When your body is undernourished, it draws on its reserve energy and burns specific compounds, which can release an unpleasant odour that exits through the mouth.
- Dry mouth. Saliva is a natural mouthwash that removes leftover food and particles that cause bad breath. That’s why most people don’t have fresh breath when they wake up – saliva production decreases while we sleep. Certain drinks like alcohol or coffee can dry out the mouth, as well as certain medications.
- Tobacco use. It’s no secret that the smell of cigarettes is far from pleasant on its own, but it also degrades your oral health and contributes to dry mouth.
- Poor dental hygiene, like a bacterial infection or gum disease. If you don’t brush your teeth regularly or effectively enough, or if you don’t use the proper technique, bacteria can grow inside your mouth. If you can’t decide between an electric or manual toothbrush, check out the guide our specialists put together!
If you occasionally suffer from halitosis, don’t worry! It’s probably due to what you ate: a stick of gum or a glass of water should solve the issue. However, chronic bad breath can be a symptom of something more serious related to your oral health or general wellness. Our specialists can help you understand what’s causing your bad breath following an exam – book your appointment today!
How to Get Rid of Bad Breath
The best way to overcome bad breath is to identify what’s behind it. No matter the underlying cause, the goal will be to reduce the presence of bacteria inside your mouth.
Drink lots of water, limit your consumption of the beverages we mentioned above, and reduce your tobacco use as much as possible: your overall health will thank you! You should avoid foods that are high in sugar and chew sugar-free gum when necessary. You can also eat raw vegetables, fruits, or nuts that help dislodge food particles and encourage saliva production as you chew.
If poor oral hygiene is the culprit, build the habit of brushing your teeth and tongue after each meal. At least once per day, use dental floss to clean out any particles that your toothbrush can’t reach.
If you’re suffering from a bacterial infection or cavities, you will need to book an appointment with your dentist to get the treatment you need.