Poor dental hygiene, diet, dry mouth, and underlying health problems are some of the main causes of bad breath. Studies have shown at least 50% of adults have had bad breath at some point in their lives. Bad breath can be definitely embarrassing when you are interacting with your colleagues and a great source of inconvenience to others who come in your close proximity. This causes social anxiety in many people who face this problem. But above everything else, it can point to serious health problems and should therefore never be neglected.
Bad Breath: Identify The Reason
Before addressing the problems, one needs to decipher the reasons that can lead to halitosis – an oral health problem where the main symptom is bad-smelling breath. Bad breath is generally caused by bacteria present on the teeth and debris on the tongue. Sagar Awatade, the founder of Oracura – a developer and marketer of innovative dental healthcare products – shares the following causes for bad breath:
Poor Dental Hygiene: This is one of the leading causes of bad breath, says Sagar. He adds that most of us do not have a proper dental routine in place. We all may be brushing twice a day but it’s simply not enough. Manual brushing can help clean the visible parts of the teeth but the insides remain untouched. That is where the food particles get stuck the most and start decaying, also attracting bacteria which leads to an unpleasant odor.
“Adopting a dental routine that is advanced enough to ensure your mouth remains bacteria-free is crucial. An ideal suggestion is to clean teeth twice a day with an electric toothbrush to ensure power cleaning and use a water flosser to clean the mouth at least once a day if not after every meal,” shares Sagar Awatade.
Certain Foods and Drinks: The breakdown of certain foods may cause the bad breath to linger for a while until the food moves out of your body. Intense flavoring foods like onion and garlic do leave a pungent odor unless cleaned thoroughly. It is recommended to floss regularly after eating so everything you’ve eaten can be washed off your mouth thoroughly. Besides this, it is ideal to avoid frequent consumption of strong beverages like coffee to avoid bad breath.
Dry Mouth: This is another cause of bad breath. Dr Anil Arora, Veteran Dentist and Advisor from Oracura, explains, “Saliva helps to naturally cleanse the mouth, so a dry mouth can lead to an increase in bacteria and a resulting odor. This can occur due to medication side effects, mouth breathing, or dehydration.”
Gum disease: Chronic gum disease, also known as periodontitis, can cause a foul smell due to bacterial growth below the gum line.
Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as sinus infections, respiratory infections, and liver or kidney problems can contribute to bad breath.
Also read: Exclusive: Dental Hygiene Tips – Should you Brush After or Before Breakfast, What’s the Verdict?
7 Steps To Fight Bad Breath
Dr Arora further adds that understanding the reasons behind bad breath can help in its prevention and management. Here are some key steps that you must follow:
- Regular brushing, flossing, and dental cleaning
- Drinking plenty of water and avoiding certain foods and drinks can also help alleviate bad breath
- Stay away from frequent munching and indulge in a wholesome diet to prevent bad odor and other dental issues
- You may be required to get a professional dental cleaning in case of periodontal disease
- Change your brush heads every three to four months
- Rinse mouth after consuming even the beverages
- Schedule timely visits to your dentist