Bad breath: Causes and treaments
Whether you have it or you’re on the receiving end of it, no-one likes bad breath. Unfortunately, though, bad breath happens to many of us at some point in our lives.
If you’re a victim of bad breath then don’t despair. Read this month’s blog post to find out what causes bad breath and what you can do to treat it
Causes of bad breath
- Gum disease. One of the most common causes of bad breath is gum disease. Gum disease can happen if you don’t clean your teeth well enough and bacteria gain a foothold on your gums. When bacteria build-up, they produce the smelly odours that can cause bad breath.
- Bacterial infection. If the bad breath also comes with pain, then it might be a bacterial infection.
- Bits of food in your mouth. This might sound gross but any leftover bits of food in your mouth can cause bad breath too. When the bacteria in your mouth digest the food, it releases bad odours.
- Dry mouth. Dry mouth is a condition where your mouth doesn’t have as much saliva as it should. This makes your mouth dry and sticky. It also produces bad breath, because there is not enough saliva to fight bacteria.
- Smoking. Smoking is an obvious cause of bad breath. There’s a condition even known as “smoker’s breath” which is bad breath caused by smoking.
- Crash dieting. Crash diets – which are diets where you lose weight fast – can cause temporary bad breath.
- Medications. A few medications can cause bad breath. If you’re taking medications, read the instructions to see if bad breath is listed as a potential side effect.
- Medical conditions. There are also medical conditions that can cause bad breath. These include diabetes, tonsillitis and acid reflux.
How to cure bad breath
If you have bad breath and want to get rid of it, then follow the tips below.
- Improve your oral hygiene routine. Make sure you’re cleaning your teeth and gums to a proper standard. This means brushing your teeth and gums for two minutes a day, twice a day. You should also floss once a day to remove bits of food that may be stuck between your teeth.
- Clean your tongue. Sometimes bacteria on the tongue can lead to bad breath. The solution is to brush your tongue as well whenever you brush your teeth. And if you really want to clean your tongue effectively, try a tongue scraper.
- Use mouthwash. The regular use of an antibacterial mouthwash can help to fight bacteria and eradicate bad breath. However, don’t use mouthwash immediately after brushing because it will wash the toothpaste out of your mouth. You want some toothpaste to stay in your mouth so it keeps your teeth protected as you sleep.
- Visit your dentist. If all else fails, your dentist should be your next point of call. A dentist can have a proper look at your mouth and find out what’s causing your bad breath. Note that if you’re in any pain right now, see a dentist as soon as possible. There could be an infection causing your bad breath, which needs to be treated as soon as possible.
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