Female covering mouth due to bad breath
Dr Chris Darby

Dr Chris Darby

What To Do About Bad Breath

There’s nothing worse than an unexplained bout of bad breath. It kills your confidence, it stops you from being intimate, it makes your food taste awful and every single moment of social interaction is filled with the terror of knowing that your fellow interlocutor can smell the foul odour that your mouth is producing.

Yes, you can carry mints and gum with you but that’s like putting deodorant on a sweaty armpit – you’re masking the issue, not dealing with it. So, here are a few simple ways to keep your breath nice and fresh and avoid any potential embarrassment.

Up Your Brushing and Flossing

If you leave bacteria and debris in your teeth, it rots and produces more bacteria, which creates that foul odour we’re all trying to avoid. If you’re not brushing and flossing at least twice a day, and using an antibacterial mouthwash then starting these is a quick and easy way to keep your breath fresh.

On top of fresh breath, you’ll also increase your oral and overall health and prevent the need for expensive and potentially intrusive dental intervention.

It All Starts With Your Gums

Bacteria and debris resting on the gums or being trapped in the gum line is a major cause of unpleasant smell emissions. So many people fail to brush and floss all the way under the gum line, which means their teeth are clean, but their gums are full of bacteria.

The best way to keep your gums (and teeth) fresh is to visit your dentist twice a year for a professional clean. With gentle and precision tools, a dental hygienist will remove all plaque, bacteria and calculus from your teeth and turn your mouth into a stink-free zone.

Mouthwash Really Helps

Mouthwash is an absolute necessity, for those suffering from halitosis. When choosing your mouthwash ask you dentist which is best. It needs to be antiseptic and free of alcohol rather than one that just ‘smells’ fresh. You want to kill the odour-producing germs, not just mask the smell. You can rinse once or twice a day, and if you can’t stand mouthwash at least give your mouth a swish and swallow with a glass of water.

It’s a good idea to rinse after every meal, so you move debris out of the mouth. Food particles sitting in your mouth for even a moment can create a smell, so be vigilant!

Think About What You’re Eating

If food smells strong, it makes sense that the odour will linger. Culprits of bad breath are onions and garlic, as well as ripe cheeses, strong spices and even tea and coffee. Foods that produce gas like cabbage and broccoli can also create odour. Similarly, rich, meaty meals will definitely linger. Now, most of these foods also happen to be delicious, and most are very nutritious and good for your health, so you don’t have to avoid them.

If you eat a garlicky meal, try to stay out of the public for a while. If you eat cabbage or a strong spice, give your mouth a good gaggle with water or antibacterial mouthwash to remove any  food remnants.

Keep Your Mouth Nice And Moist

Saliva is one of the most crucial elements of a healthy mouth. It has many functions  but in particular it washes the bacteria off the teeth and helps break down bacteria, so a dry mouth has excess bacteria and is a stinky mouth. Also some 400 medications can cause a dry mouth, so you should ask your doctor if is possible to switch to a new one to preserve the health of your teeth or take the dry in the morning rather than before going to bed. A dry mouth may also be a sign that you’re not drinking enough water, so make sure you’re getting plenty of that H2O. Discuss with your Holistic dentist what is “plenty” of water and how best to drink water each day. It is not as simple as first thought.

Give Up A Bad Habit

Smoking is without a doubt a key cause of bad breath. It’s not just the odour in your mouth it causes, it’s the odour that gets trapped in your lungs. Bad breath is emitted when we breathe, so all that tar in your lungs comes up every time you speak. If you still haven’t quit, maybe this will be the extra motivation you need.

Ask Your Dentist For Help

Your body has all sorts of warning signs, and bad breath can be a sign of something more sinister. By visiting your dentist, they can explore your mouth and look for something that could be causing the smell. Common culprits are decaying teeth and gum disease.  Your dentist may also uncover a systemic issue that is creating the odour. Poor digestion in your gut.

If you would like more information or to book an appointment, please contact us.

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