One of the most embarrassing things that anyone can experience is when they have bad breath. What many people don’t realize is that bad breath is not always a simple problem; sometimes, it can also be associated with other serious health problems. Let’s examine what bad breath is, its cause and health effects, and what can be done to prevent it.
Halitosis, or bad breath, is mostly characterized by an unpleasant odor coming from the mouth. There are several reasons why a person may have bad breath.
The Most Common Causes of Bad Breath
The Food We Eat
One of the most common causes of bad breath is the food we eat. As we eat, food is broken down in the mouth, digested and absorbed into the bloodstream.It is then carried to the lungs and comes out as we breathe. Simply brushing or flossing will not always take away the bad odor. Often, it will only go away when the food completely passes through the body.
Poor Dental Habits
If you don’t brush and floss regularly, then you can expect to have bad breath. When we eat, some of the food particles are left in between our teeth, tongues,and gums, and this results inbacterial growth. This is where the bad odor starts.
If you are smoker, then it is likely that you will have bad breath because of the chemicals cigarettes contain. When you smoke, nicotine and tar sticks to the different parts of your mouth and eventually forms different kinds of bacteria. Also, smoking dries your mouth out and prevents your saliva from flowing, cleansing, and removing this bacteria. Aside from that, smoking also causes cavities and yellowing of the teeth.
Other Serious Health Problems Associated with Bad Breath
- Respiratory tract infections
- Pneumonia or Bronchitis
- Chronic acid reflux
- Liver or kidney problems
- Postnasal drip
Things to Do to Prevent Bad Breath
- Regularly brush your teeth and tongue and floss your teeth. Brush at least twice a day, especially after having a meal. If you have dentures, make sure that you remove them before sleeping and clean them very well.
- Replace your toothbrush every two to three months to maximize its effectiveness.
- Refrain from smoking, as it causes bad breath and even more severe health problems.
- Try not to eat any kind of food that can cause a bad odor in your mouth.
- Always hydrate. Drink at least eight to ten glasses of water daily to keep your teeth and your whole body healthy.
- From time to time, chew gum or candies (sugarless), as this promotes the production of saliva, which will keep your mouth moist and wash away bacteria.
Schedule a visit to your dentist twice a year to clean your teeth and keep up with your dental health.