The pain of a bad breath is not really physical but more of an emotional one. It can be a very troubling condition to live with as it is impossible to live without opening the mouth to speak, eat, etc. Bad breath causes strong feelings of shame and embarrassment whenever one is speaking or once the mouth is opened.
Bad breath is a condition where an unpleasant smell is perceived when one opens his/her mouth. Medically, it is called halitosis and is a common health problem affecting about 20-30% of the human population.
Bad breath can be a chronic problem such as when the smell is from the stomach as a result of an infection in the body or a more temporary condition that results from poor oral hygiene.
Bad breath Causes
The primary cause of bad breath in most people is the bacteria that live in the mouth. It is responsible for breaking down the food we eat.
Among the types of bacteria in the mouth, some produce a foul smell after breaking down food. They then accumulate on the tiny pieces of food between the teeth and the gums over time. Hence, good oral hygiene is key to permanently banishing bad breath caused by mouth bacteria.
For others, the smell is coming from their gut and not their mouth. In this case, one of the causes is that food and other wastes have fermented in the gut and need to be cleaned out. Bad breath from the gut is another topic for another day. You can learn more about it here.
Other causes of bad breath include:
- Lifestyle e.g smoking, alcohol
- Gum disease
- Lung infection
- Some health conditions e.g acid reflux, infections in the mouth
- Dry mouth – the lack of saliva encourages foul smelling bacteria to flourish
- White tongue – is as a result of an inflammation of the tongue (see a dentist for proper diagnosis)
Mouthwashes, mints and the like are a million-dollar industry whose products help freshen our breath. Typically, they can be used for a temporary fix such as after a spicy meal. However, using these products to solve your bad breath is not advised
This is because they are a temporary solution and in some cases such as bad breath from the gut, they will not be effective as the issue is not in the mouth.
Maintaining good oral hygiene is very important and is critical in achieving a good breath or at least an odourless one.
Most of us think that we simply need to brush our teeth once a day and for some, it is enough. Others will might need to do more than that and make more effort in ensuring that they properly clean their mouth while brushing. Below are some tips on fixing bad breath with excellent oral hygiene:
- Brushing at least twice in a day and using a safe mouth wash especially after a spiy meal or a meal with a strong smell. This helps in killing the germs that contribute to bad breath in the mouth
- Flossing with a dental floss to remove all possible food particles that are decaying between the teeth and contributing to your condition. Here is a video on how to properly floss your teeth.
- Change your tooth brush regularly about every 2-3 months
- Scrape or brush your tongue while brushing your mouth
- Clean your braces, dentures as regularly as you can if you have any
- For those with gum disease, had their tooth removed, bacteria is probably dwelling in the hole of the gums so cleaning the areas is necessary
- Avoid sweet chewing gums because though chewing a gum stimulates saliva production which keep foul bacteria at bay, the bacteria uses sugar to produce more foul smell. Opt for a sugarless gum instead
- Stay hydrated to combat a dry mouth
For bad breath as a result of fermented food in the gut, a detox is necessary to clean the digestive system. However, fermented food is not the only cause of bad breath from the stomach.
Liver disease can be another cause amongst others which is why it is important that you see a doctor when you suspect that your bad breath is coming from inside your body beyond the mouth.
For a gut detox or cleansing, Medical News Today has instructions.
While we can spend a lot on these breath fresheners before we solve this problem, it is best we opt for natural remedies to freshen our breath and improve our oral hygiene at the same time which is not often possible with store-bought oral products
We have all seen toothpastes that claim to be made from mint leaves or contain mint. Mint is a natural breath freshener that neutralizes odours and prevents foul bacteria from growing.
Chew few leaves of the herb if you need a quick freshener. You may spit it out after chewing but it is better if you can just swallow it. It doesn’t have a bad taste and is a safe herb.
Cloves have antiseptic properties that help in not just treating bad breath but also gum and tooth pain. This spice is also a natural breath freshener which will mean you are killing two birds with one stone so to speak.
Crush 2-3 pieces of this spice between your teeth and move it around your mouth to properly clean it. It has a sharp taste which some might find unpleasant.
It is not advised that you use clove powder because you might end up using more than the recommended dose and burn yourself. Yes.It happens sometimes because it is a very strong spice. If all you have is the powder, chew/use just a pinch or less for an adult dose.
Cinnamon is also used to clean the mouth and rid it of foul bacteria however, remember not to use too much of it as it can burn you.
It is best that you chew on a small piece of cinnamon stick for some minutes if you need a quick freshener or oral antiseptic for the day.
Salt as we know is used to clean and disinfect wounds. For oral care, just rinse your mouth with a warm water-salt solution. Swish it around your mouth and spit it out. This helps clean out bacteria and improve a dry mouth.
There is no person that is born with bad breath. Instead, it is a result of poor oral hygiene, fermented food in the gut or our lifestyle.
To properly treat mouth odour, you will need to know the root cause of it. This is often not easy or obvious but it is necessary for permanently treating halitosis.
It is best to avoid all these quick fixes to solve our bad breath. Instead, find a comprehensive solution that will rid you of this problem for good.
Also avoid the use of acids such as apple vinegar, baking soda, etc to treat bad breath. While they may be effective, they also break down the enamel of the mouth which does not grow back once it is destroyed
I hope this post helped you to completely rid of bad breath from your life forever. If you know of any good remedy for bad breath, kindly let me know below in the comment section.
Until next time, bye for now.