If you suffer from bad breath, there is every chance you may be unaware of it and it can be one of those embarrassing problems that no one wants to discuss. Let’s address some common causes and cures for this ‘elephant’ in the room, medically known as halitosis.
- Ingesting foods with a strong odour such as coffee, garlic or onions. This will be obvious to anyone who stands too close, but generally this is temporary and once the food has passed through your body, the problem will disappear.
- Poor dental hygiene habits such as not brushing and flossing daily means that some food particles will remain in your mouth, leading to bacterial growth that produces volatile sulphur compounds and stinky breath.
- If you have dentures and don’t always remove them at night to clean, food particles can also become trapped causing the same problem.
- Infections in your mouth from tooth decay will emit a foul odour, and chronic bad breath can also indicate gum disease.
- Following a low-carb diet can cause “ketosis breath” as the liver utilises the fat present in the body as an energy source, producing “ketones”. The pungent smell resulting from this is often likened to nail polish remover.
- Also, those who follow a low-carb diet are usually eating plenty of protein, and the breakdown of protein in the body can produce a breath that smells strongly of ammonia.
- Acid reflux, where you regurgitate small amounts of undigested food can leave a bitter or sour taste in your mouth and cause your breath to smell acidic.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco-based products will cause what is commonly known as “smoker’s breath”.
- Bad breath can also be a sign of tonsillitis, sinus issues or other undiagnosed diseases.
- Dehydration and a dry mouth can cause bad breath due to reduced saliva production, which leads to an excess growth of bacteria in your mouth.
- Brush your teeth twice a day for at least two minutes using a soft brush and fluoride toothpaste. Replace your toothbrush every two months. Remove dentures every night and clean thoroughly.
- Floss daily.
- Scrape or brush your tongue twice daily.
- Rinse with an antiseptic mouthwash to help eliminate bacteria.
- Drink plenty of water to help wash away food particles and bacteria.
- If you follow a low-carb, high protein diet, consider using carb-free mints or gum to freshen your breath.
- Be sure to visit your dentist regularly – at least twice a year.
If bad breath is causing you to feel self-conscious, or you notice people always taking a step back when speaking to you, come and visit our professional caring team at The Dental Lounge, Robina. We can determine what the underlying cause is and treat the problem. Or, if it’s not an oral issue we may be able to refer you to someone who can help further.