- Food is one of the most common causes of bad breath – it can be anything from onions, garlic, coffee, or even cheese; these foods leave you with a bad odor. In addition, food particles can get stuck between the teeth and on the tongue, which makes it worse.
- Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, is another reason for the bad odor in the mouth. Normally, saliva washes the odor-causing bacteria in the mouth and keeps it clean. In the absence of enough amounts of saliva good breath turns bad. Diabetes, Parkinson’s disease, Sjögren's syndrome, medications used for hypertension, depression and allergies may all cause dry mouth.
- Tobacco products are just another cause for the bad breath. Moreover, it stains the teeth, irritates the gums, and increases the risk of oral cancer.
Some other common causes of bad breath include:
- Periodontal disease
- Chronic bronchitis
- Post-nasal drip
- Dirty dentures
- Liver and kidney problems
Some of the easy remedies for bad breath are:
- Drink plenty of water to keep yourself well hydrated. Water and sugar-free beverages keeps the mouth moist and clean, preventing bad breath.
- Brushing the teeth and tongue everyday and flossing the teeth once a week is one of the best methods to prevent bad breath. An anti-bacterial mouth rinse also would be helpful in providing a temporary relief.
- Caffeinated beverages can make the mouth dry and parched causes bad breath. Avoid any type of caffeinated drinks to steer clear of bad breath.
- Chewing gum stimulates the formation of saliva, which washes the odor-causing bacteria from the teeth and gums. Sugar-less chewing gum would be the ideal option as a quick fix for halitosis.
- Though some of the anti-bacterial mouthwashes may provide temporary relief from bad breath, it may not help in the long-term. Talk to a dentist to see whether the mouth wash is really effective.
Long-term relief from bad breath can be controlled by preventing the cause.
Some of the methods for a long term control include:
- Steer away from odor-causing foods to prevent the condition. Many a times food like onions and garlic accumulate the odor in the lungs. Thus temporary relief will not be obtained with chewing gums and mouth washes. The odor remains in the mouth till the food is eliminated from the body.
- Brushing the tongue and teeth, especially the back of the tongue helps to eliminate the odor-causing bacteria and provides long-term relief. Flossing daily also removes the food particles from between the teeth.
- Treating the dry mouth helps to control bad breath almost immediately. If any of the daily medications is causing a dry mouth, talk to the doctor to change the medication or dose to control the dryness.
- Removing the dentures in the night and cleaning it twice daily helps to clear off bad breath. Remember to clean the parts that press against the palate and gums.
- Bad breath may also be caused by plaque buildup, tooth decay and gum disease, so regular oral check up will help to control bad breath. Prevention or at least treating early will help to change bad breath into a good breath.
- Dieting, chronic diseases, and gastrointestinal problems may also lead to bad breath. Discuss with the doctor to avoid any major health concerns. Controlling the underlying medical conditions will be the best way to prevent halitosis.