Halitosis is a clinical symptom that affects more than 25% of the population and 50% have suffered from it at some time in their lives.
Its causes can be multiple, from poor oral hygiene to diseases such as chronic gastritis, although the vast majority of cases have their origin in the mouth itself.
Mouth odor is caused by bacterial decomposition of food debris between the teeth, saliva, oral mucosa cells or blood, which produce volatile substances such as simple fatty acids like butyric acid, propionic acid, valeric acid and sulfur compounds derived from proteins such as putrescine and cadaverine.
Here are 8 things to keep in mind to prevent the dreaded halitosis:
1. Regular check-ups
Regular visits to the dentist play an important role in oral hygiene. In addition to regular check-ups to check if your gums and teeth are healthy, we advise you to book a professional teeth cleaning at least twice a year. In this way, bad breath can be professionally treated and its source can be addressed early.
2. Don’t forget your tongue
When brushing your teeth, many people forget that there may be a layer of bacteria still present on the tongue. We advise brushing the tongue as well as the teeth for optimal cleaning. Brushing your tongue or investing in a tongue scraper will help reduce bad breath.
3. Stay hydrated!
Live with a water bottle nearby! Staying hydrated is important if you want to reduce bad breath. Drinking water helps activate the salivary glands, which clean the tongue and teeth of any food particles left behind throughout the day.
4. Watch your food intake
Remember that there are many foods that can sour your breath. The most common foods are onions and garlic, which can linger in the mouth even after brushing. The odor-causing chemicals travel through your bloodstream and into your lungs, where you continue to exhale them, even if you’ve brushed your teeth after eating.
5. Clean between your teeth
In addition to brushing your teeth twice a day, it’s important to continue to floss or use interdental brushes regularly. Flossing daily will help prevent plaque buildup, which harbors more bacteria on the teeth. Being aware of this will prevent bad breath from forming faster.
6. Watch your drinking habits
It’s always hard to turn down a strong black coffee in the morning, but be aware that some beverages can create strong odors when you exhale. For example, coffee and alcohol contain a strong residue that can adhere to existing plaque, where bacteria can build up much faster than usual.
7. Quit smoking
For many this is easier said than done, however, smoking affects overall health and is a major contributor to bad breath. Tobacco products also affect moisture levels in the mouth, which can lead to a musty, unpleasant odor. Want to kick the habit? Book an appointment with our dental hygienists today and they’ll be happy to talk to you about the immense benefits of becoming a non-smoker.
8. Try a sugar-free peppermint candy.
Sugar-free mints are a quick fix if you want to cover up bad breath. Sucking on a sugar-free mint will help freshen your breath, and also increase saliva, helping to moisten your mouth and release any food residue. If you’re going to use a mouthwash after eating, use an alcohol-free version.