Bad breath can be embarrassing. The fear of bad breath is something so many can relate to. In a world of meetings, dates and gossip, talking is inevitable and bad breath scare is justified.

Basic bad breathe facts

Almost all cases of bad breath originate from the mouth. Food particles in between your teeth and gums rot and collect bacteria to form the bad odour. These bacteria are naturally occurring and are located in the throat and tongue. They assist in human digestion of proteins commonly found in mucus, blood and broken-down tissue in the mouth. Nonetheless, in certain conditions these bacteria start to break down proteins at a very high rate. The amino acids in the protein contain sulphur that causes bad breath. The medical term for chronic bad breath is Halitosis.

 What causes bad breath?

  • The everyday food: Foods like garlic, onion, meat, fish and cheese give off bad breathe.
  • Dry mouth or Xerostamia: A condition caused by significant reduction of saliva caused either by continual breathing through the mouth, salivary gland problems or medications.
  • Tobacco smoking: Tar and nicotine substances found in tobacco are a great contributor. Smoking also dries out the mouth and also causes gum disease.

 Simple Solutions… 

  • Practice oral hygiene: Apart from brushing and flossing after meals it is advisable to invest in a mouth wash and have regular dental check ups.
  • Take fluids: Increase your fluid intake. Take the recommended eight glasses per day; also include natural juices in your diet.
  • Be brave and quit: There are no benefits to smoking. Get the right support system and quit.

Expert advice

“Morning breath” is bad breath caused by less exposure of the mouth to oxygen and lack of inactivity during the night. It can also be evident after any extended period of sleep any time of the day. There is no permanent fix for morning breath. Brushing your teeth and focusing on the tongue, as well as gargling an alcohol free mouthwash before you sleep can reduce morning bad breath. Repeat this process on waking up in the morning. If you have a “bad breath’ problem, be in the habit of brushing your teeth regularly with a mint-flavoured toothpaste. This may mean you carry a toothpaste and toothbrush in your bag or pocket for easy access when you need them.

Published on January 2012