How To Stop Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Putting on an exotic attire is great. But your breath is just as important too…
How to stop bad breath?
You’ve probably experienced what I am about describing.
Let’s say you are having a discussion with a group of friends or colleagues. Then this person joins you guys and is like, “Hey fellas, what’s up?”Just then, there is a momentary silence before anyone speaks. Everyone stylishly turns their head away to avert the smell their noses just perceived. Does this scenario sound familiar?
This is the case most times. Such a person has what is medically termed halitosis or simply put, bad breath.
What Is Bad Breath?
Bad breath is a breath that has a very offensive and discomforting smell. It can be a very embarrassing problem with social consequences for adults and children at times.
Most times, so many people do not know they have bad breath unless they are told by someone. That is why it is very necessary to check how fresh your breath is regularly.
Causes Of Bad Breath
A lot of things can cause bad breath. It could come either from oral or non-oral sources. Bad breath doesn’t threaten your health right away, but it does degrade your quality of life. About 90% of the causes of bad breath are in the mouth, so even a good mouth control can release it.
Occasionally, even with some chronic diseases, bad breath may appear. It is worth looking at whether you have good oral care and have bad health that is not caught by a dental examination.
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Some of the causes of bad breath are described below:
Poor Oral Hygiene: When proper oral hygiene is not observed, there is a great tendency for bad breath to arise. Improper tooth brushing activity falls here too as food particles can be left inside the mouth. These food particles breed microorganisms that give rise to offensive smell.
Mouth And Throat Problems: Throat and mouth infections such as strep throat, thrush or yeast infections, dental caries and gum disease can cause bad breath.
Low Amount Of Saliva And Dryness Of The Mouth: Saliva is very important for its cleaning role that helps reduce or get rid of bacteria and bad breath. It equally moistens the mouth. Dryness of the mouth or decrease in saliva may be due to breathing from the mouth, dehydration, sleeping with the mouth open, salivary gland disease and intake of some drugs.
Consuming Food With A Strong Flavor: What you eat can greatly affect the air you breathe out. Food intake that produces volatile sulfur compounds such as ginger, garlic, onions, eggs, broccoli etc, are culprits. For example, garlic and onion can be absorbed into the bloodstream, transferred to the lungs where they affect the air you breathe out through your mouth and nose.
Diseases and various medical problems: Bad breath can also be caused by liver and digestive system problems like; peptic ulcer, acute and chronic gastritis gastric cancer. Other diseases include lung disease, diabetes, kidney failure, cirrhosis, leukemia, lung cancer, lung abscess etc.
Do I Have Bad Breath?
Okay, because some people do not even know they have bad breath, here are a few exercises that can be carried out to ascertain that.
- Scrape the top of your tongue with a small disposable plastic spoon and smell it after 5 seconds. If the smell is offensive, bad breath is resident in there.
- Lick the back of your palm and let it dry. After 10 seconds, you smell it at a distance of about 3cm.
- Close your mouth for about 3 minutes, then put your hands together or exhale through your mouth using a cup to smell.
- You can also ask people that are close to you, preferably friends and family. They will be in a better position to tell you the truth.
How To Stop Bad Breath
Having bad breath is not a death sentence. If you performed any of the exercises above and confirm that you have bad breath, relax. You can sort it out by following the steps. Following them will certainly improve and restore your breath and also, give you back your confidence:
- Observe excellent oral hygiene: Brush at least twice daily. Use good kinds of toothpaste and toothbrushes. Rinse mouth properly after each meal. Floss teeth regularly to remove food particles.
- Eat breakfast and have regular eating habits.
- Change meat-based eating habits into low-fat dietary methods such as fresh vegetables and fruits and fiber.
- Avoid cigarettes and alcohol that dry your mouth.
- Drink water often and enough. This keeps your mouth constantly moistened.
Other healthy practices include:
- Chewing sugar-free gum, which is helpful for saliva production. Sugar-containing gum is avoided because sugar increases bacteria in the mouth and becomes a nutrient for the production of sulfur compounds.
- Regular oral examinations with the dentist and tooth scaling.
- Reduction of food intake that produces volatile sulfur compounds such as onions, garlic, eggs, broccoli, asparagus, mustard, and parsley.
- Reduction of dairy and meat intake, such as cheese, milk, and ice cream, which are high in protein.
- Eating a lot of green-yellow vegetables or seaweeds that contain a lot of calcium, sodium, and potassium.
- Reduction in the intake of coffee, tomato and orange juice, which accelerates the growth of bacteria by making the environment in the mouth acidic.
Bad breath can be equally prevented by simply following the steps above. It can be handled as well, as has been explained above.
You are in control of your breath. Take care of it and have your confidence intact.
Christine Obioma is a creative wordsmith and copywriter. She has a passion to inspire, inform and transform individuals using her pen. When she is not writing, she enjoys baking or observing nature.