Ever suffer from bad breath? Or know a friend or family member that just doesn’t seem to take the hint?

They may be suffering from halitosis, also known as bad breath or malodour. There are three main factors that contribute to halitosis and they stem from:

  1. Limited or irregular oral hygiene
  2. Diet
  3. Stomach and reflux issues
  4. Dry mouth

The biggest and most common reason for bad breath is lack of adequate oral hygiene. Did you know that besides teeth, bacteria resides on all the soft tissue in the mouth! The teeth only comprise 20% of the mouth, so that means the other 80% includes the cheeks, soft and hard palate as well as the tongue. So it is very important to make sure you brush your tongue as well as the teeth. A good way to clean the bacteria off your tongue would be with a tongue scraper. A build-up of plaque and dental calculus will also cause bad breath so visit your dentist for a clean.

The second factor is, you guessed it, food! We all love our garlic sauce and onion rings however, they do leave a lingering odour in your mouth. This is due to the sulphur compounds found in these foods. When they are digested, by-products are absorbed into the blood and make their way to the lungs which leads to hours of bad breath.

If you suffer from gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), or reflux for short, you may experience halitosis. Regurgitation of stomach contents often cause symptoms such as heartburn and malodour. By managing GERD properly, it is possible to lessen the symptoms of halitosis. This could be by ensuring you eat a balanced diet of 3 meals daily and reducing snacking, as well as chewing gum to aid in digestion and freshen your breath. It is also important to see your general medical practitioner if you suffer from regular reflux.

Everyone is familiar with morning breath. It’s important to stay hydrated and if you snore or have sleep apnoea, there are treatments to manage these problems.

To reduce bad breath.

So stay hydrated.

Keep your mouth clean and healthy with regular brushing and flossing. Use a tongue scraper a few times a week.

Use mouth rinse, sugar free gum or sugar free mints after meals.

Avoid certain foods.

Manage medical conditions like reflux and snoring.

Visit your dentist for a professional clean.

Studies

https://www.bmj.com/content/333/7569/632.short

http://citeseerx.ist.psu.edu/viewdoc/download?doi=10.1.1.622.6546&rep=rep1&type=pdf

https://iopscience.iop.org/article/10.1088/1752-7155/4/1/017003 – A Tangerman and E G Winkel 2010 J. Breath Res. 4 017003

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