Halitosis is simply the official name for “bad breath.” 80 million people suffer from chronic bad breath. This can be quite embarrassing if your breath tends to be offensive every time you open your mouth to speak to someone.
Several factors are attributable to bad breath - the type of food being eaten, dry mouth - also known as xerostomia, smoking or consuming tobacco products, a bad stomach or indigestion, certain medicines, a chronic lung infection and most importantly bad oral hygiene .
Fun Fact: Morning breath is so bad because the saliva production in the mouth decreases drastically while we are asleep.
Here are a couple of easy ways to keep bad breath at bay.
7 Steps to a Happy Mouth
- Brush Twice a Day
Plaque buildup creates the perfect environment that encourages bacteria growth. This causes bad breath. Brushing after meals or at least twice a day prevents plaque buildup on teeth.
- Floss Everyday
The food particles that get stuck in the unreachable parts of your mouth are attended to by regular flossing. When flossing is not carried out regularly food stuck between teeth become magnets for bacterial activities which can make the mouth smell very bad.
- Use a Good Mouth Wash
Mouthwash kills bacteria that cause bad breath. The cool minty taste of mouthwash can make your breath feel good and fresh too. The interesting thing is mouthwash has no actual medical use, it just helps one’s mouth smell better- which might not be such a bad thing for some people.
Swish water in your mouth after eating, as this dislodges food particles that get stuck in difficult places.
- Use a Tongue Scraper
Bacteria tend to gather on the tongue and need to be cleaned away regularly. Scraping the tongue not only removes bacteria but also gets rid of food debris and dead cells. Notice how much cleaner your breath smells if you clean your tongue.
- No Sour Foods
As far as possible try and avoid foods that cause your breath to stink up. Onions and garlic are prime examples. The problem lies in the fact that after consuming these foods, the smell lingers on even after brushing and cleaning the mouth thoroughly.
This is because foods that create the foul odor make their way to your bloodstream and travel to your lungs. So every time you breathe out, your breath smells. (Hope this solves that mystery for you.)
- Natural Breath Fresheners
Cloves, fennel seeds, and aniseed have antiseptic qualities that help fight bad breath. Sometimes you can try chewing a piece of lemon or orange rind. This not only adds a gorgeous burst of flavor in your mouth but it stimulates the salivary glands which prevent dryness of mouth thus avoiding the build-up of plaque or tartar.
Please remember to wash the rinds well as they contain bacteria.
Halitosis can be a symptom of poor dental and oral care or a symptom of a much more serious dental problem. If bad breath persists even after employing all the suggestions listed above, pay a visit to your dentist.