Bad Breath Stinks . . . . LITERALLY!
Having bad breath (Halitosis) can be a tough problem to overcome. What should you do about it? Mints? Gum? Listerine? Those are all band-aids to the problem. Let’s talk about a SOLUTION! But, before we do that lets spend a few moments talking about the cause of bad breath.
Scientists have long known that bad breath is caused from Volatile Sulphur Compounds or (VSC’s). Some VSC’s form when the normal bacteria in your mouth interacts with conditions like gum disease and infection located in the pockets of your gums and the crevices of your teeth. Most VSC’s however are due to bacteria sitting on your tongue! These compounds can build up on your tongue all night long. This is one of the main reasons why we wake up with “morning breath”, which isn’t exactly the ideal thing you want to smell first thing in the morning.
Besides VSC’s, there are also many other causes of bad breath such as: infected tonsils, acid reflux, and stuffed or stagnant nasal passages (the #1 reason children can have bad breath)
So now that we know what causes Halitosis, what can we do about it?
- Clean your tongue. Brushing and flossing your teeth isn’t enough to combat bad breath. Brushing your tongue, or better yet scrapping yourtongue from back to front with a tongue scrapper will do the best job of removing these VSC’s.
- Brush and floss your teeth daily. Yes, the tongue holds most of the mouths VSC’s but there are still many lurking between your teeth and in your gum pockets. Some people have deeper gum pockets that cannot be cleaned well enough at home and need professional dental cleanings.
- Keep your mouth hydrated. Having a dry mouth can lead to dead cells sitting in the mouth for extended periods of time allowing the VSC’s to multiply. Saliva is great at washing away these bacteria, but if you suffer from a dry mouth you will need water to wash away the dead bacteria that can accumulate in your mouth. Some products like Biotene can help people who suffer from dry mouth.
What are some “life hacks” that you can use to fight bad breath?
- Chew sugar free gum. Of course the gum can provide some temporary freshness, but more importantly chewing stimulates salivary flow and that saliva can help wash away VSC’s
- Certain medications can cause an increase in VSC’s Some drugs given for high-blood pressure, allergies and depression may make your mouth dry which can cause it to smell. Talk to your doctor about this.
- Eat a diet low in starchy/sugary foods. Try and consume fresh crisp fruits and raw vegetables.
- Chew on herbs and other food oddities. Many herbs such as parsley and cilantro are wonderful natural solutions for bad breath. The chlorophyll in these green plants neutralizes odors. Chew a piece of lemon or orange rind for a mouth-freshening burst of flavor. (Wash the rind thoroughly first.) The citric acid will stimulate the salivary glands—and fight bad breath.
- Try a 30-second mouthwash rinse that is alcohol-free. Mix a cup of water with a teaspoon of baking soda (which changes the pH level and fights odor in the mouth) along with a few drops of antimicrobial peppermint essential oil. Don’t swallow it!
If after trying these remedies you find that you still can’t eliminate that unpleasant bad breath, speak to one of us so we can try and help solve this bothersome problem.