We’ve all had the experience of getting a little too close to someone and getting a whiff of bad breath. Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, can be embarrassing and a turn-off, but it can also be a sign of something more significant going on in the body.
Here are some details about what causes bad breath and how to prevent and treat it with natural remedies.
Causes of Bad Breath
The foods you eat are the most common causes of bad breath, because the process of breaking down food results in food particles that stuck in your teeth. Foods with strong odors, such as onions and garlic, can cause breath odors through the digestion process.
Using tobacco products is a guaranteed way to get bad breath, as well as practicing poor dental hygiene or taking certain medications that cause dry mouth. Infections in the mouth, high-sugar diets, gum disease, and bacteria elsewhere in the body can cause breath odor. Meanwhile, metabolic disorders, cancer, and gastroesophageal reflux disease are more serious conditions that can include bad breath as a symptom.
Treating Bad Breath
Mouthwash, mints, and gum are all marketed for treating bad breath, but these products often just temporarily mask the problem rather than actually curing it. It is important to take control of your dental health to ensure that tooth decay or gum disease aren’t causing the odor. This is why visiting a dentist every six months for a checkup is recommended. In the meantime, to treat an existing condition of bad breath, you can try commercial toothpastes and mouthwashes that are designed to fight bad breath.
Natural home remedies for bad breath include eating more yogurt, milk, orange, and apples. All of these foods have properties that have powerful effect on foul mouth odors. You can also rinse your mouth out with vinegar or a mixture of baking soda and warm water to fight bacteria growth.
How to Prevent Bad Breath
Fortunately, there are some things you can do to prevent the embarrassment of bad breath in the future. First, make some positive changes in your oral hygiene routine, such as brushing your teeth after eating all meals, brushing your tongue as well as your teeth, and flossing your teeth.
Also, drink plenty of water throughout the day to prevent dry mouth that can lead to bad breath. Consider chewing on a sprig of parsley or a few fennel seeds after meals to fight bad breath before it starts.
Change your toothbrush about every three months to increase its effectiveness and reduce the risk of germs. Meanwhile, consuming a well-balanced diet with lots of fruits and vegetables is a great way to boost your overall health, which extends to oral health as well.
When Bad Breath is a Sign of Something Serious
Oftentimes, bad breath is little more than an annoyance or a hint that your hygiene regimen could use some improvement. However, bad breath may also warrant a trip to the doctor is other accompanying symptoms persist.
After making changes to your oral hygiene routine, ask your dentist about what could be causing your bad breath if the conditions don’t improve. If your dentist suspects that an underlying medical condition is causing the bad breath, he or she may refer you to a general physician for a checkup. Most bad breath conditions can be remedied with natural, at-home treatments, but if your bad breath is worsening despite good oral habits, don’t delay asking a professional for advice.