Bad breath can be embarrassing and is also unpleasant for all involved so it is important to treat it as soon as possible. The primary cause of bad breath is poor dental hygiene and if this is the case then it is not too difficult to clear up. However, it can also point to more serious problems that need to be identified. Either way, you won’t want to waste any time sorting it out.
The smell of your breath is affected temporarily by the foods you eat but this is not really an issue unless you eat something like garlic every day and even then, it is not hard to get rid of it. When you eat food it is broken down and absorbed into your bloodstream, which then passes through your lungs, causing your breath to smell of whatever you ate until it has completely passed through your body. This is normal and sorts itself out in time, although it doesn’t hurt to cover up the smell with sugar-free gum.
In more serious cases, bad breath is caused by bacteria that has been given the chance to breed between your teeth and on your tongue. This happens naturally overnight while you sleep, which is why you often wake up with bad breath and a nasty taste in your mouth, but brushing and flossing will soon sort this out.
The same thing can happen if you do not take care of your teeth. Trapped particles of food between your teeth lead to all sorts of problems, bad breath being just one of them, so it is important to brush, floss and rinse in order to remove everything. If left alone, bacteria breeds and the result is an unpleasant odour. It can also be caused by smoking or chewing tobacco, which will also stain your teeth and affect your sense of taste.
There is no big secret to treating and preventing it, all you need to do is brush and floss regularly and drink plenty of water. In addition to this, chewing gum is a great way to keep your teeth clear and encourage saliva production for a cleaner mouth. Mouthwash may also help but it can interfere with toothpaste and undo all the benefits of brushing so if you have to use it, make sure you leave a sufficient amount of time before or after brushing.
However if bad breath remains a persistent problem then there could be something else wrong – so you should seek dental treatment as soon as possible. Bad breath is one of the symptoms of gum disease and is caused by a build-up of plaque on your teeth and the subsequent toxins that form and irritate the mouth and gums. Leave this untreated and you could suffer more permanent damage to the gums, as well as the jawbone.
It is not just dental problems that cause bad breath either as there are many medical problems that include it as one of their symptoms. Such illnesses as pneumonia, sinus infections, diabetes, acid reflux and even problems with the liver and kidney can cause bad breath. Obviously this is something you will need to get to the bottom of as soon as possible so if you ever do suffer from bad breath that won’t just go away, you should consult your dentist and, if no answer is found, seek help from a doctor.
Sam Reynolds for Portman Healthcare