If we are talking hygiene wise, bad breath probably earns the second or third place of worst things that could happen to us – we’d say first, but maybe that’s a bit dramatic. A foul-smelling mouth is a nightmare because everyone around you can smell it except you. So while you carelessly yawn on the bus to your work, you might be surprised with all the looks of disapproval you will be getting. Although it is not always the case, bad oral hygiene is what most people associate with bad breath. However, the reasons are broad and here are the 4 most common causes.
The Science Behind Bad Breath
The reason bad breath is humiliating is that the source of it is bacterial byproducts in the mouth. Leftover food for bacteria is the real-life equivalent of a royal feast to us, meaning bacteria is about to multiply to turn the occasion into a memorable party. As a result of breaking down carbs and sugars, bacteria release sulfur compounds as by-products which have a pungent odor. While its all fun and games for these microbial organisms the same cannot be said for you or the ones around you.
Another cause of bad breath could be certain foods. Garlic and onions are notorious in the field of bad breath. An inconvenience particularly after having endeavored a massive bowl of delicious pesto sauce pasta. Well, it turns out garlic makes us produce sulfur gases which the intestines or the liver cannot metabolize. As a result, it travels back to the mouth and spreads its poignant smell.
What Conditions Cause Bad Breath?
Poor Oral Hygiene
If we track down the history of bad breath stigma, I am confident this where it all began. Although it is not always the root cause, it is prevalent to initiate it. If we do not brush at least twice a day, we are creating the perfect breeding environment with good food supply for bacteria. As we mentioned above food bits between teeth when consumed by bacteria can cause pungent-smelling byproducts.
To combat this, brush your teeth twice a day for 2 minutes, floss, and use the American Dental Association (ADA) approved mouthwashes.
This is a major inconvenience and a source of frustration. Although you might follow strict oral hygiene, the nooks and the crannies make for a good hiding place for food. The alignment of crooked teeth can make it hard for toothbrush bristles or even floss to go over every square inch of your teeth. Leaving behind food particles that stimulate the proliferation of bacteria.
To treat this, you should consider orthodontics to fix the alignment of your teeth. Visit your dentist to discuss what you can do to re-align your teeth properly and eliminate this problem from re-occurring.
Saliva has a much more significant role on the over-all oral state than we give it credit for. Some of its diverse functions include neutralizing acids which plaque produces and washing away accumulating dead cells on the back of the tongue which tend to decompose into foul air.
Causes of dry mouth include alcohol consumption, certain diseases, or medications. Drink water regularly and consume sugar-free gum or candy to stimulate saliva production.
As we explained above, certain foods produce sulfur gasses which cannot be broken down by the intestines and liver and therefore come back to the mouth just to make your life harder. Unfortunately, no one is going confuse the smell of these byproducts with say, vanilla. You might have to give up your favorite foods for the greater good.
If you have a big occasion coming up, then you would want to stray away from the following foods
- Canned tuna
- Dairy products
Dealing with bad breath depends on many factors. In some cases the cause is direct, and specific habit changes would eliminate the problem entirely. Incorporate a good oral hygiene routine that consists of brushing your teeth at least twice a day, flossing, and using ADA approved mouthwash. Remain hydrated and consume sugar-free gum to maintain saliva production and avoid a dry mouth.
For certain people, simple dental care practices just won’t cut it. Usually, that is due to misaligned teeth and food particles getting stuck in between the folds. For a situation like this, to get rid of bad breath your only choice is to re-align your teeth. If you want to know more about orthodontics, reach out to us, and we will gladly address your concerns.