The Causes of Bad Breath and 5 Ways to Treat It
Perhaps the worst thing you could take with you to an interview or a meeting with someone you have never met before is bad breath. Not only does it make both people feel uncomfortable, but it also can say a good deal about who you are as a person. Many people might think you should have skipped the onion on your sandwich or at least brushed your teeth, but there are other causes of halitosis. We will go over those causes as well as give you ways you can treat your bad breath.
Causes of Bad Breath
According to the Academy of General Dentistry, at least 80 million people suffer from chronic bad breath. This is more than something a piece of gum or a mint can fix. There are several causes of halitosis, some of which can be harmful if you leave it untreated. Here are some of the causes.
- Bad Oral Health: If you do not brush your teeth or floss regularly, you can create a problem. With food stuck in your teeth and gums, bacteria work hard to break it all down. As a result, this decomposition creates a foul smell.
- Smelly Foods: If you recently ate onion, garlic, coffee, eggs, or other spicy foods, your breath can take a turn for the worse. Unfortunately, brushing your teeth or chewing a piece of gum will only mask the smell. The smell will not go away until your body fully processes the food, which can take up to 72 hours.
- Too Much Protein: Consuming too much protein leaves you tired and lethargic, so your body goes into a metabolic state called ketosis. This produces a chemical that smells like fruit, but it also gives you bad breath.
- Dry Mouth: Sleeping with your mouth open, breathing through your mouth, snoring, and even medications can cause dry mouth. Not only does this make your breath smell, but it can also cause hoarseness and a sore throat.
- Tobacco and Alcohol: Smoking or chewing tobacco, as well as consuming alcohol, can make your breath smell. This is because tobacco does not mix well with saliva and alcohol dries out your mouth.
- Too Much Sugar: Sugary foods and drinks are a superfood for the bacteria in your mouth, so they will go into overdrive when you introduce it to them. In the process, the bacteria gives you bad breath.
Ways to Treat It at Home
There are several ways that you can prevent bad breath as well as treat it. Each of them is relatively easy, you just have to make each practice a habit. Honestly, these practices are well worth not having to worry about damaging someone else’s sense of smell. You also might not have to keep a massive stash of mints close by anymore. Here is what you can do.
- Use Good Oral Hygiene: This includes brushing your teeth at least twice a day, but if you really struggle with bad breath, brush after every meal. You should floss at least once a day, as well as add a tongue scraper to your normal brushing routine.
- Visit the Dentist Regularly: Your dentist is always available to help you if you struggle with halitosis, but you should also see them twice a year for your routine checkups and cleanings. This way, your dentist can catch any problems before they become severe.
- Drink Plenty of Water: Water is one of the best ways to get rid of any smell, especially if you have morning breath. This keeps your mouth moist throughout the day and combats dry mouth.
- Eat Teeth-Cleaning Foods: Crunchy and raw fruits and vegetables naturally clean your teeth and help remove the pieces of food bacteria may be breaking down. This is not a replacement for brushing your teeth, but eating an apple or some carrots after lunch can help you out in a hurry.
- Stop Smoking and Chewing Tobacco: Not only is smoking and chewing tobacco not healthy, but it also causes a handful of problems in your mouth. It causes bad breath, as well as gum disease and cancer.
Bad breath is never fun to deal with, but many of the causes are ones you can deal with at home. As long as you keep a balanced diet, practice good oral hygiene, and visit the dentist regularly, you should not have any problems. If none of these solutions seem to help, be sure to see your dentist. Whether it is gum disease or another problem that is causing your smelly breath, they can help you get it sorted out.