Do you cause flowers to wilt by breathing on them? Do your friends stand five feet away to talk to you? Do you know how to get rid of your bad breath? Don’t just pop mints in your mouth and hope that no one will notice.
While everyone has bad breath at some time, knowing what causes bad breath can help you get rid of it. Bad breath, known as halitosis, in itself is not a disease. Bad breath is a sign of an underlying problem.
About 90 percent of the problems which can cause bad breath come from inside the mouth. The main causes are gum disease, cavities or poor-fitting restorations.
When bacteria in food breaks down and decays in the mouth it releases volatile sulfur compounds, causing the offensive odor. In most cases, you can get rid of bad breath by simply brushing and flossing your teeth and gums. It is also strongly recommended to brush your tongue, especially the back where bacteria can accumulate.
Basic dental work can often eliminate persistent bad breath. If you have a cavity that goes unfilled or an incorrectly fitted restoration, food may remain trapped after brushing in the small holes in the tooth.
Neglecting your dental hygiene may lead to gingivitis, an inflammation of the gums which may produce a sulfur smell. This is more often the case with periodontitis, where small air pockets in the gums trap food and bacteria and become infected.
Another simple method to get rid of bad breath is to drink a lot of fluids which will increase the saliva in the mouth. Saliva is a natural cleanser, and anything that causes the mouth to be dry such as vigorous exercise, diet, smoking, certain medications or alcohol consumption will also cause the saliva to decrease.
In most cases bad breath occurs in the morning because the salivary flow slows as a person sleeps.
If these precautions have been taken and the odor persists it may be a sign of another condition. During the menstrual cycle women will usually have a natural increase in sulfur compounds in their mouths which often causes an objectionable breath odor.
Other more serious causes include diabetes, hypoglycemia, renal disease or liver disease, which all have a characteristic odor. Some dentists have been able to detect underlying diseases by the scent of a patient’s breath.
Of course, your bad breath may just be caused by eating garlic which can linger in the body for up to 2 days after it is consumed.
You should not practice using mouthwashes and breath mints to get rid of bad breath because they only cover the problem for a short time, like perfume. In some cases, they may even exacerbate it because they contain alcohol and salt compounds.