Halitosis can interfere with an individual’s self-esteem. In some cases, it can be uncomfortable or embarrassing. Halitosis is the condition of bad breath (chronic), mainly caused by poor hygiene and dry mouth of the person. It is also caused due to illness of other body parts like stomach/ gastric reflux, diabetes, and liver or kidney diseases.
Everyone should understand the importance of oral hygiene and prioritize their oral health. Regular dental checkups and dental cleaning is recommended for people suffering from halitosis. Teeth cleaning at regular intervals of 4 to 6 months is a treatment to maintain oral health care and prevent Syria or gingivitis. Halitosis is not an infectious disease. However, it still causes equal uneasiness for the individual and anyone who encounters that individual.
Top six causes of bad breath
- Bacteria- Sulphur-producing bacteria cause halitosis or the problem of bad breath. These bacteria are found on the outer surface of the tongue. And in the throat of the person with halitosis. The smelly breath due to these bacteria is caused due to the production of odorous volatile Sulphur compounds. These bacteria are Gram-negative bacteria.
- Inadequate dental hygiene- poor oral hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath. When anyone eats a meal, food debris may get trapped between the teeth and in other spaces in the mouth. These food particles then cause bacterial growth, resulting in tooth decay and bad breath. Tonsil stones are a combination of food particles, bacteria, and mucus. These small stones get trapped in the structure of a tonsil, resulting in bad breath. Most tonsil stones can be removed with a saltwater rinse or Waterpik. However, if it is a common occurrence, it is best to speak to your family doctor or dentist.
- Periodontal disease- Periodontal disease is caused by the infection and inflammation of the gums and bones that form the teeth’ socket. In the initial phase, the condition is more like gingivitis. In the case of gingivitis, gums swell, bleed, and become red. The grip of teeth becomes loose, creating gaps between gum and teeth. In severe conditions, the teeth can fall after the roots of teeth become weak. Periodontal disease is understood as one of the major threats to dental health.
- Dry mouth- Saliva is vital for moistening the mouth and neutralizing the acids produced by the plaque. Lack of saliva in the person’s mouth can cause dryness and bad breath. This condition of dry mouth is known as Xerostomia. The salivary glands are not producing an adequate amount of saliva. Acids, plaque, dead cells, and other smell-causing agents that remain untreated or stagnant can cause foul breath and possible damage to overall health.
- Respiratory tract infections- Respiratory bad breath is caused due to some short-term infections like bronchitis, pneumonia, sinusitis, and other respiratory disorders.
- GERD and other gastrointestinal issues- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) is a chronic disease caused by the rise of acid in the stomach in the esophagus. GERD is caused along with other symptoms due to disbalance in the gastrointestinal fluid.
Natural solutions to bad breath
There are many natural solutions for bad breath. You may want to try some of the at-home methods discussed below:
- Snack on celery. This crisp vegetable is enriched with fiber. It helps to fight bad breath by enhancing saliva production. Saliva naturally fights harmful bacteria and neutralizes acids.
- Green tea is abundant in antioxidants that help with bad breath by preventing it from multiple causes.
- Waterpiks is a natural mouth moistener that helps prevent bad breath by washing away stuck food and the harmful bacteria present in the mouth.
- Chew on a small handful of anise seeds. Anise seeds can be boiled and taken in tea form as well. Anise seeds are great for digestive issues or can be used as a natural mouthwash. Many compare the taste to sweet licorice.
- Parsley is a folk remedy for smelly breath and has been used for many years. It has a deodorizing effect because of its fresh aroma and high chlorophyll content. Parsley can also fight the smell caused by sulfur-producing bacteria. Add fresh parsley to your meal or green juice.
- Zinc vitamins or supplements can also help in fighting bad breath as the zinc vitamin can help fight against the sulfurous compounds present in the mouth.
- Natural Probiotic supplements or probiotic foods like Lactobacillus and Bifidobacteria can help in reducing the bad breath and assist with digestive issues that contribute to breath.
- Saltwater rinse can be very helpful to fight against the foul odor coming from the mouth.
Although these natural solutions are beneficial, it is always best to speak to your dentist before incorporating them to treat bad breath. Bad breath can be a sign of an underlying issue.
Bad breath prevention
- Maintaining oral hygiene is critical for fighting against bad breath. It is recommended to brush twice a daily or after each meal. It is also recommended to maintain overall health and drink plenty of water frequently throughout the day. A helpful tip is to use mouthwashes before sleeping so that you don’t sleep with the bacteria trapped in the mouth.
- Flossing or scraping teeth gently with care to remove plaque from the surface of teeth is advised to be done daily after every meal. This will help remove food debris, prevent food from sticking and prevent harmful bacteria from forming in the gaps of teeth.
- Keep gums healthy because healthy gums will keep teeth safe and will also prevent bad breath by creating a slick surface; food will have a difficult time sticking.
- Avoid dry mouth and keep saliva moving in the mouth to prevent the growth of sulfur-producing bacteria in the mouth. Healthy food and water also help maintain the oral health of the person.
- If anyone is a smoker, they should quit smoking as soon as possible. Smoking and tobacco are the main enemies of oral health issues, bad breath, and other health issues. It is recommended to speak to your family doctor and dentist if you have difficulty quitting.
- If you have any oral-related problems, then you should visit your dentist. Scheduling future appointments will help you never to forget a checkup.
Bad breath is very embarrassing and can indicate deeper health issues. At any stage of life, whether someone has a severe case or is just unsure what to do about their bad breath, always consult a dentist.