Have you ever worried you have bad breath? You are not alone, as most of us are concerned that our breath could be offensive at some time or another. Concerns about bad breath can negatively impact self-confidence and social interactions.
Usually, bad breath, or to give it its proper name, halitosis, is temporary. It results from having too much garlic, onions, or other highly flavoured food and only lasts until it has passed through your body. In this case, you can do nothing except wait and know that your breath will soon return to normal. It is a different matter when bad breath becomes more persistent and could be due to undiagnosed dental problems, but there are some remedies to try before booking a visit to Bel Canto Dental.
Review Your Oral Care Routine
Many cases of halitosis are due to lax oral hygiene. If you fail to brush and floss properly, bacteria in dental plaque will quickly build up, and small particles of food trapped between your teeth can start to rot. These can create a noxious smell like rotten eggs. To avoid this from occurring, brush your teeth at least twice a day and floss daily.
Clean Your Tongue
Bacteria and food particles can also get stuck on your tongue. Another remedy is to brush your tongue gently with your toothbrush or, better still, purchase a tongue scraper. These only cost a few dollars and can be very effective.
Look at Your Diet
If you are guilty of eating a poor diet, it could be causing bad breath. Try to increase the amount of crunchy fruits and vegetables in your diet; these are especially good if eaten raw. Crunchy carrots, celery and apples are fibre rich and can have a slight scrubbing action on your teeth, helping to fight plaque buildup. Also, chewing these foods can stimulate saliva production, helping to wash away plaque and other food particles. Avoid foods high in refined sugars or highly processed as these can allow harmful bacteria in your mouth to thrive, again causing an unpleasant odour.
Eat More Probiotics
Many people use mouthwash to help kill signs of halitosis, but this can also kill off good and bad bacteria. Eating more foods containing good bacteria can help correct a bacterial imbalance in your mouth while helping to fight the bacteria that can cause bad breath. Foods to try include live yogurt, miso with probiotics, sauerkraut and kefir.
Fight Signs of Dry Mouth
If you have noticed your mouth feels dry and sticky recently, you could have a condition called xerostomia or dry mouth. It might be due to dehydration, so you may be able to fight it simply by drinking more water. However, many medications can cause dry mouth and if you have recently noticed this side effect after starting a new medicine, talk to your GP. They might be able to prescribe something different. Over-the-counter drugs can cause dry mouth like antihistamines and nasal decongestants. It can also be caused by lifestyle factors like breathing through your mouth or smoking. Remedies to try include using over-the-counter saliva substitutes, chewing sugar-free gum or sucking sugar-free candies, or sucking on ice chips.
When to Visit Bel Canto?
If home remedies fail to help bad breath within a couple of weeks, make an appointment to see Bel Canto Dental for a dental checkup. Dentist can check your mouth carefully for any signs of oral disease that could cause bad breath, such as untreated tooth decay or gum disease. Otherwise, you might need to see your GP. Sometimes bad breath is caused by undiagnosed illnesses such as problems with your tonsils, reflux disease, sinus infections and liver and kidney diseases.