For those suffering from bad breath conditions such as halitosis, it is hard to cope with knowing that their partners, co-workers, and friends can be affected by their breath, too. We will explore some unique oral hygiene options as well as foods you can eat that can greatly reduce, and even cure, the cause of bad breath for some!
There are a couple main things to keep in mind when working on your bad breath…
1.) Gum and mints are cover-ups, not solutions.
2.) If you cannot fix your bad breath through natural or prescribed methods, make an appointment with your general practitioner as soon as possible. Bad breath can be a symptom of a greater and more serious health issue.
What To Try & What To Stop
1.) Work on cures, not cover-ups: Bad Breath is primarily caused by a bacterial imbalance in your mouth. Mouthwash, gum, and mints cannot and will not cure this issue, it only masks it. These bacterial imbalances can cause more than just a bad smell, but also dry mouth. Mouthwash with alcohol with exacerbate the issue of dry mouth and subsequently make your breath worse.
2.) Drink Water: If you don’t like drinking water, time to find a way and get over it! Dehydration is one of the key causes of bad breath.
3.) Oral Hygiene Improvements: Brush your teeth after every meal, bring a toothbrush to lunch and make the time for oral hygiene. You can get a handheld oral irrigator for home that can flush out bacteria better than a brush or floss is able to. Getting a tongue scraper to use every day might sound intense, but is a simple, painless and quick step in your oral improvement and fixing bad breath.
4.) Better Products: Toothpaste and mouthwashes that contain alcohol do not kill the bad bacteria, they kill the majority of all bacteria, which causes dry mouth. This causes your mouth to work harder to recreate needed bacterias, which then causes bad odors. Mouthwash and toothpaste with tea tree oil provide antimicrobial properties to prevent bad bacterias from growing.
5.) Helpful Foods & Drinks: The following foods and drinks have an antimicrobial action which has been proven to disrupt malicious bacteria growth. Regularly drinking unsweetened black or green tea (*add a teaspoon of turmeric powder for added benefit), chewing cinnamon sticks, eating probiotic yogurt regularly, and fermented foods such as kombucha, kefir, and kimchi. If you can handle it…gargle some apple cider vinegar, too!
1.) Food Allergies & Intolerances: If you are aware that you have certain food intolerances but “push past the pain” for the flavor, you may very well be causing your bad breath. This is especially true for lactose intolerance.
2.) Smoking & Chewing Tobacco: Quitting smoking or chewing can be incredibly hard, but the benefits are extensive. Apart from the damage that it causes to your entire body, it contributes to malicious bacteria and dry mouth. Both of these are major factors in bad breath.
3.) Drink less or no alcohol: If you drink two or more alcoholic beverages a day, this can cause issues in your digestive tract and mouth regarding your proper bacteria levels. This happens because alcohol can feed bad bacterias while killing off some good ones. If you drink five or more alcoholic beverages a day, cleansing your system entirely from alcohol before returning to more moderate drinking can help your digestion and subsequent oral health immensely.
If you are struggling with bad breath and wish to speak more intimately about a solution, please call us at 1-205-655-4300 to make an appointment with Dr. Dobbs or Dr. Adkins. We advise that you track your meals for a few days, writing down all that you eat, as well as bringing a medication list, as some medications can contribute to bad breath.