Fighting Off Bad Breath

Bad breath (halitosis) is an undesirable reality that we’ve all experienced throughout some point in our lives. Whether if you struggle with funky breath in the morning, or have it lingering on throughout the day repelling those around you; bad breath in all forms is detrimental to one’s sense of self-esteem and overall quality of life. Additionally, chronic bad breath can pose as an indicator of a more serious underlying issue.

Combating both rare and frequent occurrences of bad breath can only be properly done by truly understanding the common causes of the phenomena, and learning how to best equip your smile against them!

Not To Be Underestimated

Many people rarely take the implications of bad breath into full consideration. It’s true that bad breath alone is not a life-threatening condition, and is even a common occurrence for many of us following a good night’s rest. However, the psychological impacts it poses to those it affects should not be overlooked.

As human beings, we are innately social creatures that seek interaction and contact with others for our overall well-being. When struggling with bad breath, especially for a continuous stretch of time, it’s expected that those around us will be turned off from our presence. This makes it extremely challenging to build and maintain all kinds of meaningful social relationships, specifically the more intimate ones! 

Often attracting all the wrong kids of attention, its no wonder that rectifying common occurrences of bad breath is something many of us seek to lead a happier and healthier lifestyle! 

The Leading Causes

On the other hand, constant bad breath is often a conspicuous sign of a more deep-rooted issue. Its important to note, that if you experience frequent episodes of lingering bad breath, it could be the result of a plethora of issues. Some of these include;

Bacteria buildup

The scent of our breath is often a reflection of what’s going on within our oral anatomy. When we fail to frequently and thoroughly clean our mouth (especially the tongue) through a proper oral care regimen it gives space for bacteria, plaque, and food particles to accumulate and create an unpleasant smelling odor as a result.

Underlying health conditions

It might come as a surprise to learn that many diseases or medical conditions can have ramifications which impact seemingly unrelated parts of the rest of the body. Conditions like diabetes, gastric reflux, kidney and liver disease, and even certain cancers all disrupt the body’s natural processes. These lead to potential hormonal and chemical changes throughout the mouth, causing the breath to smell as a result.

Tooth decay and gum disease

When the smile is neglected, its typical for cavities to form among the teeth’s surface and gingivitis begin it’s spread amongst the gumline. While these forms of respective tooth decay and gum disease indicate their earlier stages, once they progress, they bring about more detrimental impacts throughout the smile!

As severe tooth decay and gum disease (periodontitis) eat away at precious bone and tissue among the smile, it will cause an undeniable odor that can’t be ignored! This is why it’s so crucial to constantly participate in routine checkups with a trusted professional to ensure your smiles on the right track.

Diet and lifestyle habits

The decisions we make on a daily basis are fundamental to the state of our smiles. Typical vices such as alcohol and tabaco can damage our smile’s health and frequently trigger bad breath as a result. the vast majority of alcohol we consume is converted by our bodies into acetic acid, which causes halitosis that will stick around longer than usual. Tobacco is also infamous for leaving a stale scent, known as “smokers’ breath”, as the chemicals compounds it leaves amongst the mouth mixes with the saliva.

Beyond that, there are commonplace foods that are known to be synonymous with bad breath when consumed beyond moderation. These include; garlic, onions, dairy, tuna, coffee, soda, meats, and much more!

Dry Mouth

Saliva is one of our smile’s greatest tools. Utilized as a natural lubricant to help cleanse the mouth of harmful bacteria and assist in the process of chewing and swallowing. Therefore, a lack of saliva encourages the development of funky smelling bacteria to invade your smile!

It’s crucial that you drink a substantial amount of water throughout the day, especially in the morning, to assist your body in developing this important asset. As dry mouths are often attributed to a lack of liquid intake, but can also be the result of particular medications which aim treat unrelated issues like Alzheimer’s, depression, blood pressure and much more!

The Bottom Line

While an unpleasant smelling smile is bound to affect you at some point in time, it’s important to adopt all the best precautionary methods to ward it off as much as possible! These include;

  • A committed oral care routine- brushing twice a day (especially after meals), and flossing daily too!
  • Investing in a healthy and well-balanced diet, focusing on foods which fight against halitosis such as fresh fruits, basil, parsley, green tea, probiotic yogurt and so on!
  • Brushing off the white or orange tinted film on top of the tongue (this is the most common cause of general bad breath).
  • Avoiding vices such as tobacco and alcohol!
  • Not being stingy with buying a new tooth brush when the bristles begin to wear out, or better yet- invest in an electric one!
  • Properly clean and maintain any extra dental appliances you may use, such as dentures. 
  • Try modern methods such as oil pulling by swishing around coconut oil to strip the mouth of bad bacteria.
  • Staying hydrated and committed to the rest of your body’s health- remember, everything is connected!

And most importantly, frequently communicate with your dentist! This gives your trusted professional the opportunity to monitor the progression of your oral health and any pressing changes that may develop over time, and even communicate with your other health care providers to uncover the root of the problem.

If your dentist notes you struggle with bad breath, they will likely do all they can to equip you with the knowledge and tools to rid your smile of halitosis. Remember, semiannual checkups and cleanings are the greatest boon to any smile!