Many people feel ashamed to bring up certain Oral health-related topics and turn to the internet for answers.
One ideal example is – Halitosis
But what the heck are they?
A persistent, unpleasant odor in exhaled breath, usually not serious, is commonly called bad breath.
You might have already tried so many methods available online to get rid of bad breath.
But still searching the correct answer for – How can I permanently get rid of bad breath?
Bad breath can be a sign from the mouth that you have a Dental issue or condition elsewhere in the body.
Moderate Bad Breath is common in one-third of the population, and the rest are affected by bad breath at least during a part of the day (morning mouth/morning halitosis is widely prevalent).
Severe bad breath affects less than 5% of the population that requires immediate attention.
Why do some people have bad breath all the time?
Interaction of bacteria in your oral mouth (anaerobic microbes) with the proteins present in the saliva and food residues resulting in the production of volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs).
These volatile compounds are sulfur compounds, aromatic compounds, nitrogen-containing compounds, amines, short-chain fatty acids, alcohols or phenyl compounds, aliphatic compounds, and ketones
These VSCs not only produce bad breath but can also worsen your Gum Health.
Well, I’ve put together a complete list.
Some are proven and evidence-based.
Some are in research and not proven.
Some are still controversial.
But they’re all here.
Bad breath can be either
Primary halitosis: Refers to respiration exhaled by the lungs
Secondary halitosis: Originates either in the mouth or upper airways.
The origin of bad breath in 90% of the patients is Mouth. 9% of patient sources of halitosis are non-oral reasons such as respiratory system, gastrointestinal system, or urinary system. In 1% of patients, the cause of the halitosis is due to diet or drugs.
Bad breath can be treated properly only if the cause is identified first.
What Commonly Causes Bad Breath?
Dental Problems: Poor oral hygiene, food impaction, Tongue coating, Broken tooth, Cavities, and chronic gum disease, mouth ulcers, unclean dentures.
Mouth, Nose, and Throat Infections: Nose, sinus, and throat issues (Tonsillitis, Sinusitis, rhinitis) that can lead to postnasal drip may also contribute to bad breath.
Dry mouth: If salivary secretion is less, one sign may be halitosis. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, certain medical conditions, alcohol use, tobacco use, or excessive caffeine.
Smoking and Tobacco: Not only do many tobacco products leave their own odor on your breath; they can also dry out your mouth. Smokers are also more likely to develop gum disease, which can also add to halitosis.
Other Medical conditions
While bad breath is often linked to some other medical issues, it may also be a sign of gastric reflux, diabetes, liver, or kidney disease.
Different medical conditions impart different odors on the patient’s breath.
Diabetes – Fruity or citrusy breath
Asthma or cystic fibrosis – Acidic breath
Kidney problem – Scent of ammonia
Liver Problem – Musty or mousey odor.
Nasal malodor – Slightly cheesy character
Bowel obstruction – Fecal odor.
Food substances with a strong odor like garlic and onion, after being absorbed into the bloodstream during digestion, are transferred to the lungs, and the exhaled air is characterized by the odor of that particular food substance.
You can get rid of bad breath naturally by doing some lifestyle changes and natural remedies.
Warm Salt Water Rinse
A saltwater (saline solution) rinse can prevent the buildup of infectious bacteria in the mouth or throat. Saltwater rinse is a great, cheap and simple home remedy for bad breath.
Many people try mouthwash or mints to get rid of bad breath. But really, Can mouthwash cure bad breath?. Mouthwash / Mouth rinses can produce temporary refreshment only.
To be frank, the best mouthwash for bad breath is no mouthwash.
Mouthwash can cause bad breath because it dries out the mouth. and mouthwash can’t replace brushing, flossing, and scraping.
Still not convinced then use at least, Alcohol-free mouthwash.
Eat Fennel Seeds
Considering how to dispose of awful breath utilizing just your spice cabinet? Bite on a modest bunch of anise or fennel seeds, which have germicide properties that cutoff bacterial development. Their aromas can likewise conceal stinky breath.
Suck on a Cinnamon stick
Like cloves and fennel seeds, cinnamon is a successful antiseptic. In addition, it has fundamental oils that eliminate germs and will leave your mouth smelling decent.
Bite into a clove
This spice is rich in eugenol, a pale yellow oil that has antibacterial properties. To reap its benefits, put one clove in your mouth and bite into it.
The oil may burn slightly, so keep moving the clove over your tongue. Once it’s covered your mouth, spit out the clove. Avoid using clove oil or powdered cloves, which could burn your mouth.
Chew a Fruit Rind
Rinse off a lemon or orange rind before popping it in your mouth to chew on it. It will give your breath a burst of freshness and the citric acid will encourage glands to produce more saliva.
Munch on a Green plant
Mints work as bad breath remedies because they contain chlorophyll, a pigment that neutralizes odors.
Coriander, tarragon, spearmint, rosemary, eucalyptus, and cardamom are also believed to be good for relieving bad breath.
Studies have shown that getting at least one serving of yogurt a day can decrease the level of the odor-causing germs of hydrogen sulfide in your mouth.
All these natural home remedies will provide temporary solutions only. The root cause has to be addressed.
Treat the main cause
Poor Oral hygiene – Scaling / Deep cleaning / Gum flap surgery
Tongue Coating – Proper Tongue cleaning
Medical approaches – Consult with a physician to identify the cause.
Masking agents- Chewing gum and mouth rinses.
Bad Breath is a common problem affecting individuals of all ages. The patient cannot smell his own breath and relies upon others for this information. It should be emphasized that it is a difficult task to tell someone that he has bad breath.
Common reasons are bacteria in the mouth especially present in gum disease and the dorsum of the tongue. Common Medical aspects include ear-nose-throat and gastrointestinal problems.
Since the majority of Bad breath is related to the mouth, the dental team should lead the treatment, performing dental/periodontal treatment and personalized oral hygiene instructions.
HOW CAN WE HELP?
If you do have bad breath, you may not be aware of this situation. Regular check-ups will allow us to watch out for any places where plaque is caught between your teeth. Our dental team will be able to clean all those areas that are difficult to reach.
They will also be able to show you the best way to clean your teeth and gums and show you any areas you may be missing, including your tongue.
Dr. Shiva Sankar is the Clinical Director and Orthodontist at Sakti Dental Clinic, Tirunelveli with over 18+ years of experience in dentistry. He is also a Professor in the Department of Orthodontics, Rajas Dental College affiliated to, Dr.MGR Medical University. Dr. Shiva Sankar frequently publishes research papers in leading scientific national and international journals.