Bad breath or halitosis, usually results from poor dental health habits or it could be a sign of other health problems. It can also be made worse by your diet and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Poor Habits & Bad Breath
Having a regular brushing and flossing habit a vital for good oral hygiene. If you are not maintaining good oral habits, food particles can remain stuck in your mouth which promotes bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue, causing bad breath.
For denture wearers, proper cleaning of their dentures is very important. Failure to do so will result in bacterial growth over it, resulting in bad breath.
Tobacco - cigarettes or other forms of tobacco-based products, also can cause bad breath and irritate your gums.
Health Problems Associated with Bad Breath
If you are experiencing persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth, this might be a warning sign of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of a sticky biofilm, plaque on teeth. When plaque keeps depositing, bacterial accumulation irritates the gums. If left untreated, gum disease can damage the gums and jawbone.
Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dentures, fungal infections of the mouth, and dental caries (cavities).
Dry mouth/Xerostomia may be a side effect of various medications, some systemic diseases, salivary gland problems or continuous breathing through the mouth.
Saliva is necessary to keep the mouth moist, neutralize acids produced by plaque, and wash away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. When insufficient saliva is produced, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath.
How To Prevent?
Bad breath can be prevented by
- Practising good oral hygiene- Brushing twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque. Don't forget to brush the tongue, too. Use dental floss for removing food particles and plaque in between teeth.
- Visit your dentist at least once a year. With a thorough oral exam and professional teeth cleaning, your dentist can detect and treat periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that may be the cause of bad mouth odour.
- Try to stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products if possible.
- Drink plenty of water. This will keep your mouth hydrated.
- Remove dentures at night and clean them thoroughly before wearing them in your mouth the next morning.
Depending on the cause, Further treatment for bad breath can vary. For oral health-related problems, your dentist will work with you to help you better control that condition. If your bad breath is thought to be caused by an underlying health condition, your primary care provider would be able to help you better.