Let’s face it, we’ve all had bad breath before. And it’s not pleasant for you or anyone else. The scientific term is halitosis, and roughly 20% of Americans suffer from bad breath. Don’t worry, bad breath in the morning is common for everyone, so that doesn’t count. But if you brush your teeth yet still have bad breath throughout the day, you probably suffer from halitosis.
What are the causes of bad breath?
Saliva is necessary to moisten your mouth, and you produce about 1 liter of saliva everyday. Saliva contains enzymes that break down food particles and help protect your teeth from bacteria and decay. So if you suffer from dry mouth, your breath may suffer due to the fact there are not enough enzymes breaking down food particles.
Most people know that smoking causes bad breath, but not why. Cigarettes contain several chemicals that are extremely pungent. So when they are repeatedly inhaled they leave an after-smell that’s difficult to get rid of. Also, inhaling hot gases/smoke dries your mouth.
Poor oral habits
Everyone learns at a young age that we should brush twice a day, floss, and use mouth wash. Now it’s OK if you skip every now and again, but it really becomes a problem when oral health is totally neglected. Not only will you suffer from an assortment of health problems, your breath will suffer severely. Brushing your teeth removes bacteria and food particles. But if you don’t brush, the food particles can remain in your mouth, which promotes bacterial growth between your gums, teeth, and tongue. Bad breath is inevitable after this happens.
There are several other possibilities that could cause bad breath. Nose and sinus infections are quite common bad breath causes. The causes of bad exhaling odor may be because of sinus infections or foreign bodies. Tonsils can accumulate calcified matter that smells foul, causing bad breath. And acid may enter your esophagus, which may cause gases to escape to your mouth.
How do you prevent bad breath?
Good oral habits
Brush your teeth twice a day, floss, and use mouth wash. This will wash away any leftover food particles from your previous meals and stop bacteria from spreading. Make sure you visit the dentist every six months and get a proper cleaning. Here are some tips:
- Gently clean the tongue when brushing your teeth. However, some people have a hypersensitive gag reflex when an object touches the roof of one’s mouth, the back of the tongue, or the area around the tonsils and throat. Usually a sensitive gag reflex is a learned or conditioned response, which means one can try to fix the condition by practicing certain exercises. Here are a few exercises to try:
- 1. Relax. Take a small, soft toothbrush and gently massage your palate just behind your upper front teeth. Massage where you can comfortably tolerate the brush, as you do not want to stimulate the gag reflex. Once you’re comfortable with this, move the brush further backwards and carry on massaging. Continue the process until you are comfortable massaging the front half of your palate.
- 2. Before brushing your tongue with a toothbrush, take a deep breath and hold it. Then brush your tongue and exhale afterwords.
- 3. Similar to number 2 – relax the tongue and the muscles of your throat. Take a deep breath. While your brushing your tongue, exhale.
- Gargle mouthwash before going to bed
- Chew gum – it helps with the production of saliva
Bad breath is just one of the several health concerns tied to smoking. If you can’t quite smoking as easily as you’d like, try eCigarettes as an alternative. Instead of inhaling smoke, it’s vapor, which isn’t as harmful.
Don’t drink so much coffee
We know what coffee breath smells like. And since most people drink coffee after brushing, the smell lingers. Coffee dries your mouth, which encourages bacteria growth since less saliva is being produced. So if you continuously drink coffee throughout the day, your breath will continuously stink.
Keep drinking water
Water helps wash away bacteria and food particles out of your mouth. It also helps produce more saliva.
Why is it important to fix bad breath?
An online dating site surveyed 5,000 singles and asked them what they found is most important before going on a first date. 43% of the respondents said that fresh breath was the most important factor. This shows how people may perceive you if you do not take care of your teeth properly. So if you are single and suffer from halitosis, you should go see your dentist!