Bad breath is often referred as ‘morning breath’ or ‘halitosis’. It refers to unpleasant smell that is exhaled from breath. You need to figure out, if it is caused due to poor dental hygiene or due to any other underlying health problem or due to the food you intake. Identify the culprit to make the treatment easier.
Causes Of Bad Breath
If a stinking food goes in, chances are high for a bad breath. Food items that commonly cause bad breath are garlic, onion, spices, fish, cheese and acidic beverages like coffee. Certain people take supplements like fish oil tablets.
These food items get absorbed in the bloodstream and are transferred to lungs. They cause gastrointestinal problems and belching. This causes bad odour in the breathing via the lungs, four to five hours later.
Saliva is vital for digestion and eliminates the odour causing agents from the mouth. Dry mouth or ‘Xerostomia’ refers to the decreased flow of saliva in the mouth.
Some people have a habit of sleeping with their mouth open and breathe through them. When the mouth is open for a longer duration it causes dry mouth.
Bacteria get accumulated for the entire night and causes bad breath in the morning which is called as ‘morning breath’. Apart from this, dry mouth may also be caused due to medications or salivary gland abnormalities.
Bad breath may be caused due to various medical disorders. It may be due to Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or diabetes. GERD is the acid reflux from stomach to esophagus.
Due to kidney or liver abnormalities, toxins are excreted from them via the lungs and cause bad breath. Other possible reasons may be gum infection, respiratory tract infection, lactose intolerance, tonsillitis, bronchitis or sjogren’s syndrome.
If you are taking low carbohydrate and high protein diets, your body burns fat for energy. This leads to a state called ‘ketosis’. The end product is ketones, which is released when exhaled. Ketones have acetone like smell and causes breath with bad odour.
When you are wearing dental applications like braces, you have chances of getting bad breath. These applications are a haven for the food particles and bacteria and disrupt proper cleaning of teeth.
When dentures are not fitted properly, it may cause sores and infections in the mouth causing bad breath.
Smoking And Chewing Tobacco
If you have a habit of smoking or chewing tobacco products, you have possibilities of getting bad breath. These habits causes teeth stain, gum infection, tooth decay leading to bad breath.
Poor Oral Hygiene
The remains of rotten food and bacteria in the mouth are the root cause of many dental problems. If you are not properly cleaning your teeth, gums and tongue, you are likely to get bad breath.
Treatments For Bad Breath
Proper oral hygiene includes brushing, flossing and tongue scraping twice every day. Tongue scraping should not be ignored for fresh breath. Medicated mouth washes clean the entire mouth and gives fresh breath
Right balance of saliva is required for overcoming dry mouth. Drink plenty of water.
In winter, use a humidifier and use nasal spray for moistening the nasal passage.
Watch Your Diet
Avoid food offenders that cause bad breath. Take two cups of tea. A chemical, polyphenols in tea discourages the development of bacteria causing bad breath. Sugarless gums, cranberries and parsley also solve the purpose.
Consume lot of carbohydrate diets, whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
Visit Your Dentist
If nothing works out, approach your dentist. Visit your dentist biannually for a complete dental check up.