Bad breath or halitosis can be an embarrassing problem but you are not alone. According to a report by the Council of Scientific Affairs, 50% of the population has bad breath at any one time!
It can be difficult to pick up your own scent, so, here’s a little trick: Lick your wrist and have a whiff!
There are many causes for this. Here are a few:
A dry mouth
Saliva, a rather underrated substance, is so vital for a healthy mouth. It lubricates those fragile tissues in your mouth, buffers acid, eliminates food odours, creates a flow to rid bacteria from accumulating.
Alcohol, smoking, mouth-breathing, cancer treatments can cause a lack of saliva and a dry mouth. This is the perfect environment for anaerobic bacteria (bacteria that, unlike us, can survive without oxygen) to thrive and release by-products which can cause bad breath.
What we eat
This is an obvious one. Some foods contain sulphur compounds which are responsible for that stink. Protein in our diet is also a food source for, again, those nasty anaerobic bacteria. Certain drinks are acidic which contributes to a dry mouth, for example coffee and juices.
How we clean our teeth
Next time your friendly dentist nags you to brush and floss daily, we mean well. If you don’t clean your teeth regularly, a white, furry layer of bacteria forms over your teeth called plaque. And if left to accumulate, especially around the gum line, they can harden into calculus, also known as tartar. Also, the poor tongue is often forgotten when it comes to oral hygiene but they house millions of bacteria. All these, left untreated, can give off an unpleasant odour.
General health and well-being
Bad breath could also be a symptom of detriment or some sort of deficiency in your health. Here are some to name a few: diabetes, lung disease, respiratory tract infections, metabolic disorders, airway problems like sinusitis, bronchitis or tonsil stones.
Certain medications and treatment can reduce saliva production which can cause bad breath. Some include antidepressants, high blood pressure medications, antihistamine and head and neck radiotherapy.
So, don’t let bad breath affect your self esteem and relationships.
Here are a few tips that may help:
1. Avoid alcohol mouthwash as they can be drying for the mouth
2. Invest in a tongue scraper and start cleaning that tongue
3. If you get dry mouth or have a low saliva production, it is time to invest in a saliva substitute you can apply in the mouth
4. Chew sugar-free gum – this stimulates saliva flow
5. You may need certain dietary supplement so please consult your doctor
6. Replace your toothbrush
And, above all, let us help you!
Book your next check-up and we can
– Run saliva tests for dry mouth and recommend the right products for you if you need them
– Look for and rid dental decay
– Review your gums for any diseases
– Scale and clean off those stubborn calculus
– Share with you our tips on effective oral hygiene
and so much more to make sure your bad breath is not dental related.
Book your appointment with us today.