Do you have bad breath and it is affecting your self-confidence and social life? It is not only embarrassing to have someone point out that you have bad breath or offer a mint with a knowing smile, but bad breath can also cause people to keep away from you. The good news about bad breath is that it can be easily tackled with hygiene and knowledge. To successfully conquer bad breath, first you have to understand what causes it in order to see what works and what doesn’t.
What Causes Bad Breath?
One of the major causes of bad breath is dry mouth. Dry mouth occurs when the body slows down the production of saliva. If you are not drinking enough water or your body is not producing enough saliva due to other medical conditions, the dryness leads to dead cells on your tongue. The bacteria in the mouth break down these dead cells and in the process bad breath is emitted. Bad breath is also caused by bacteria in the mouth breaking down food particles stuck in the teeth.
If you do not properly brush your teeth, bacteria continue to build up on the teeth, emanating an odor. The food you eat can also cause bad breath. Foods like onion and garlic leave an odor in the mouth. Smoking is another common reason for bad breath. In addition, fasting and crash-dieting causes the body to break down fat and releases ketones which have a smell.
Some medical conditions such as diabetes, liver or kidney disease, throat and lung infections, among others are known to cause bad breath. If you do suffer from any of these conditions, you need to consult your doctor before trying out other remedies to get rid of bad breath.
How To Check If You Have Bad Breath
It is possible to have bad breath but not be aware of it unless someone else points it out. However, you can avoid the social embarrassment by finding out if your breath needs to be fixed. How do you do that? As mentioned earlier, bad breath starts with the tongue. You have to do a visual check of your tongue. If your tongue is white and scaly that is a bad sign, if the tongue is pink and shiny it means you are good.
The next step is to take a spoon and scrap the back of your tongue using the tip of the spoon. Let it dry and then smell it. You can use dental floss or cotton swabs to do the same. Bad breath usually originates from the back of the tongue.
How To Conquer Bad Breath
There is no permanent solution to fixing bad breath. The only way to ensure that your breath remains fresh is by regularly practicing the tips mentioned below:
- Brush and floss at least twice a day. However, if your breath is worse, try to brush after every meal to avoid leaving food residue in the mouth.
- Drink water regularly: Taking water regularly is one of the most effective ways to combating a dry mouth and prevents bacteria buildup.
- Use tongue scrappers
- Rinse your mouth with mouthwash
- Pop some mints
- Consult a professional dentist for professional teeth cleaning and dental exams