What causes bad breath?

The chances are, if you live anywhere in the vicinity of another human being, the thought of whether or not your breath resembles a breath mint or an olympian's sport sock has crossed your mind. The good news is that should you find yourself in a situation where it's more like the latter, there are steps that can be taken.

The chances are, if you live anywhere in the vicinity of another human being, the thought of whether or not your breath resembles a breath mint or an olympian's sport sock has crossed your mind. The good news is that should you find yourself in a situation where it's more like the latter, there are steps that can be taken. 

Dental Routine

The first thing to examine when tackling bad breath, is your dental routine. Think that brushing twice a day is enough? You'd be wrong. The main cause of bad breath is a build up of plaque and bacteria in the mouth, which can be fought with a thorough dental routine. So, introducing regular flossing and use of mouthwash can have wondrous effects - and don't forget to brush your tongue! As well as this, make sure you're taking regular trips to the dentist for check ups.

Diet

You may have noticed that your breath doesn't smell so good after indulging in some of your favourite foods, and this isn't a coincidence. Consuming food and drink such as coffee, alcohol, onions and garlic can have a negative affect on your breath, but don't worry, it's usually only temporary, and can often be saved by the tactful chewing of sugar-free gum.

If you count yourself as a 'Crash-Dieter' this may also have drastic effects on your breath; extreme diets and fasting can lead to the body breaking down fat and producing a chemical called Ketone, which negatively affects your breath. Maintaining a balanced, healthy diet can counteract this.

Smoking

As well as many other health side effects, smoking is a terrible cause of bad breath. On top this, it can stain teeth, decrease your sense of taste (you may not even realise you have bad breath!) and irritate your gums. By putting down those small white sticks, you can freshen your breath and reduce your risk of gum disease amongst other health benefits.

Illnesses & Medicines

Unfortunately, there are some causes of bad breath that we can't control, and although these are rare, certain medical conditions can leave your breath smelling less than peachy. These include illnesses such as  (not a medical condition or illness), Gastrointestinal Conditions, Diabetes and lung, nose or throat infections. From time to time most people will experience a dry mouth, particularly after sleeping with the mouth open.

Even if you're lucky enough not to contract any of the above, certain medicines used to treat other illnesses can lead to bad breath as a side effect. If you think a medicine you're taking could be causing your bad breath, consult your GP as they may be able to offer you an alternative.

Fortunately, there are also a range of things you can do to avoid or mask bad breath! These include:

Eat Parsley, Cinnamon, or Spearmint. Whilst chomping down on these might not permanently eliminate bad breath, they may help to temporarily mask the stench you accumulated from the onions you had on your lunch break.

Drink Water: Water helps to flush out your mouth, which can stop particles lingering and causing bacteria. Another drink helpful for cleansing breath is Green Tea.

Chew SugarFree Gum: Not only does the flavouring of gum help to mask unwanted odour, but it promotes the production of saliva which rinses your mouth of plaque and bacteria, which is the main cause of bad breath! Breath mints also encourage a similar response.

And, of course great breath begins with great dental hygiene! If you think you're suffering from bad breath but aren't sure why, make sure you consult your dentist who may be able to point you in the right direction.


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