What causes bad breath and how to combat it?

Also known as halitosis, bad breath can affect anyone of any age and can be caused by a whole range of factors like lifestyle and diet, as well as your oral hygiene routine. In this article, we’ll go over the main factors that can cause bad breath as well as what changes you can make to combat it and avoid bad breath.

What is bad breath?

The most common causes of bad breath start in the mouth. The types of food and drinks we consume, whether we smoke or not, and how much water we drink can all affect the freshness and odour of our breath.

When we eat, bacteria and enzymes in our mouth and saliva start breaking down food from the very first bite. These bacteria, as well as oils from food like garlic and onions, can leave a bad odour on our breath after lunch. Coffee, fizzy drinks, and alcohol are also well known for affecting our breath, as are cigarettes, sugary foods, and certain medications.

Perhaps the most common cause of bad breath is poor dental hygiene. When cavity-causing bacteria called plaque coat your teeth, they can build up and form sticky plaque-filled pockets below your gum line. This, in turn, traps the odour and leads to gum disease and bad breath.

How to treat bad breath?

No one wants bad breath. It can make people feel self-conscious and embarrassed to open their mouths in public. But don’t worry, most types of bad breath are easy to fix with a few simple changes to a person’s oral hygiene routines, diet, and lifestyle.

To avoid bad breath, make sure you always brush your teeth twice a day for two minutes. Remember to brush gently, in circle motions, and massage your gums. Don’t brush so hard that your gums bleed. It’s best to try not to eat or drink anything for 30 minutes before and after brushing your teeth.

For best results, always brush your teeth with fluoride toothpaste, floss daily in between your teeth, and clean your tongue using a tongue scraper or cleaner once a day. If you have dentures, keep them clean and remove them at night.

If you can, it’s a good idea to brush your teeth after every meal. If you can’t, then try using mouthwash or sugar-free gum or mints after drinking or eating to stave off bad breath. Try to avoid things like black coffee, smoking, and sugary food and drinks.

Most importantly, book regular check-ups with your dentist. A regular check-up can help prevent cavities and gum disease before they even begin. To keep your breath fresh and your teeth strong and clean, book in for a dental check-up today.

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