A strict NO-NO with anyone, anytime, anywhere, is hands down: BAD BREATH! Halitosis can be detrimental to your professional, social or personal endeavors. Everyone suffers from bad breath at some point in their life and sometime of the day. Yet the biggest turn off is definitely. smelly badBad Breath in any situation like a first date or a job interview, grappling your confidence and self-respect. The real culprit are a group of anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria breeding beneath the tongue, throat and tonsil area which excrete smelly bad tasting compounds while breaking down proteins into amino acids. When not caused by any underlying medical condition, simple lifestyle modifications may be enough to tackle the problem. Have a look at some common triggers of bad breath with their respective solutions:

They include diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, and chronic bronchitis.

1. Bacteria build up due to poor oral hygiene: While we all are convinced about having impeccable oral hygiene regimens, dare yourself to visit a dentist to analyze the real picture.  If you don’t regularly brush and floss, bacteria start to build up a “biofilm” on your gums, tongue and in the gum pockets between your teeth.

Solution: While this is the commonest cause of bad breath, it is also the easiest to fix. Brush your teeth twice a day covering every tooth surface in circular motions gently cleaning the gum margins. It is specifically important to properly brush the tongue (on top and underneath) and the palate. Regular flossing may be the solution to your grave issue as it removes food particles stuck between teeth and gum line-areas inaccessible to regular brushing. The mint flavored floss sticks are my personal favorite being extremely easy to use leaving behind a fresh aftertaste.

Visit a dentist for Professional cleaning and polishing of the teeth every year.

2. Gum Disease: Unhealthy gum pockets provide the ideal medium for odor-causing bacteria to flourish and multiply. Plaque and tartar deposits lead to gum swelling, bleeding and bad taste in mouth. Women are more susceptible to gum disorders due to hormonal changes.

Solution: Consult a gum specialist for proper care. Warm saline rinses 2-3 times daily should be a part of your daily routine to maintain gum health. Invest in a non-alcoholic pH balanced Mouthwash to reduce acidic levels in the mouth with prolonged antibacterial effect.

3. Dry Mouth:  Saliva is the most potent natural mouthwash which has antibacterial properties. It acts as a lubricant, digestive aid and maintains the pH of the mouth. Decreased salivary flow can be caused by a number of factors like smoking, medication, mouth breathing, chemo or radio therapy, dehydration etc. The mouth loses its ability to clear food particles, resulting in a build-up of gaseous bacteria producing bad breath.  

Solution:  Eat at regular intervals, stimulate your salivary flow using sugar free chewing gum, drink water regularly and use salivary substitutes if needed.

4. Morning breath: Foul smelling morning wake-up breath is a very common occurrence compelling us to brush first thing in the morning. The body is busy detoxifying, repairing, and regenerating tissues during sleep time. Saliva production dramatically slows down during sleep leading to food stagnation and microbial build-up.

Solution: It is imperative to brush at night to remove any plaque or debris. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and eliminate toxins. Use a good quality anti bacterial mouthwash, scrape your tongue well and always breathe from your nose. Oil Pulling Therapy with cold pressed coconut, sunflower or sesame oil is highly recommended to eliminate toxins.

5. Culinary Culprits: Onions, garlic, radish, tea, coffee, dairy food, meat, fish etc. are strong offenders in daily routine giving a rancid breath. Complex carbs, refined and processed sugar, sulfur rich foods like cauliflower and brussel sprouts provide breeding ground for bacteria to emit foul gases.

Solution: Eating fibrous fruits and vegetables like apples, bananas, guava, potatoes etc. reduces bacterial count in the mouth. Citrus fruits like oranges, grapefruit, and sweet lime are rich sources of Vitamin C which boosts immunity and also promotes salivation thereby working against bad breath.

Rinse your mouth really well after eating to wash away food debris and reduce breeding ground for bacteria. Eat fennel seeds, cardamom, clove, parsley, basil, mint leaves etc. after meals to get fresh breath instantly.

6. Cavities: When there is a defect in the tooth structure food particles can get trapped and cause decay. This also acts as a food trap and can harbour bacteria and produce odour.

Solution: Regular check-ups to prevent large cavities and eliminate bacteria. Timely management of dental problems will save both your Time and Money.

7. Compromised Immunity: Bad breath is basically the reflection of build-up of bacteria. Low immune status of the body prevents natural defense mechanisms to act against halitosis producing bacteria.

Solution: Take multi-vitamins, probiotics and eat well to keep bacterial/viral infections at bay.

8. Throat/Sinus Infection:A build-up of bacteria and mucous in the nasal cavity can travel between the nasal cavity and the throat and reside on the tongue causing halitosis.

Solution:  Cleaning/Brushing the tongue religiously especially the back portion to remove smelly bacteria, food debris and dead cells. Ensure the sinus/throat infection is being treated by ENT Surgeon.

9. Heartburn or Acid reflux:Gastroesophageal reflux disease causes acid leaks from the stomach back up causing burning sensation in the food pipe and throat, tooth erosions and bad breath.

Solution: Consult a gastroenterologist and start taking antacids.

10. Smoking/Alcohol: Consumption of large quantities of alcohol dehydrates the body and dries out the mouth by reduction saliva production. Erosion of stomach lining and vomiting may further worsen the situation.

Solution: Moderation in the key!

bad breathe

The simplest way to address this issue is to get a regular health check up and visit your dentist at least once a year. Allay all your anxieties of bad breath and confidently mingle around without offending the nostrils of others. Fix the ROOT CAUSE of your bad breath, rather than simply masking the SYMPTOMS, and say goodbye to the humiliation of halitosis FOREVER!

Visit Dental Panache, leading Dental Practice in Gurgaon NCR to consults specialists for best and long lasting results.