Halitosis, a.k.a. bad breath or morning breath, is a problem that is quite familiar to most of us. Let’s face it – at one point or another, we’ve all experienced bad breath that lingers on throughout the day.
Instead of being anxious or embarrassed by the problem, it’s time that we delve deeper, and school ourselves about the possible causes of bad breath and effective ways to fix it.
There are countless products that can help combat bad breath. These include a wide array of mouthwashes, gums, and mints, which can be purchased from any store.
The rampant availability of these products suggests that the problem of bad breath is far more common than you might have thought previously, and for most people, the issue can simply be remedied by exercising good dental hygiene.
Why Do I Have a Bad Breath in the Morning?
Morning breath may be caused by poor oral hygiene, or it could be symptomatic of periodontal disease, which starts off as gingivitis (a disease caused by poor oral health).
In either of these cases, the best course of action would be to visit a dentist and get a diagnosis. Periodontal disease mainly affects the gums, and if left unchecked, it can result in chronic halitosis.
Having said that, in some instances, morning breath seems to linger on even after an individual has cleaned his or her teeth immaculately. The question, then, arises naturally: What causes bad breath even after you’ve kept up healthy dental hygiene?
In cases of persisting bad breath, the body may be trying to indicate a symptom of a more serious condition.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Bad breath can be caused by a variety of reasons, some of which may be underlying, whereas others may be more overt. That said, some common causes of morning breath include the following:
The oral cavity is a breeding ground for a plethora of bacteria. Some of these bacteria, which live on the back of the tongue, can interact with certain amino acids in food, and produce a sulfuric compound. This may cause your breath to have a foul odor. Similarly, other bacteria can interact with sugary compounds, and produce bad breath as well.
This comes as no surprise, but food items that you consume play an integral part in your oral health. Spicy foods have a tendency to cause bad breath too.
Some examples of beverages and foods that can cause bad breath include coffee, garlic, onion, fish, and cheese. Fortunately, a good swirl of mouthwash in the mouth eliminates all residue of these items, and can get rid of bad breath.
Several over-the-counter pills and medications, such as decongestants, diuretics, antidepressants, and antihistamines, can produce the side effect of a dry mouth, which in turn, causes bad breath.
4. Dry Mouth
Dry mouth, which is also known as Xerostomia, is often related to bad breath. A dry mouth may be caused by a side effect of a drug or a salivary gland disorder.
Owing to a substantial decrease in the production of saliva, the mouth is unable to cleanse itself properly, which results in foul-smelling bacteria and residual food particles that may cause bad breath.
5. Underlying Medical Conditions
As mentioned before, bad breath might be indicative of underlying medical conditions. If you often wonder what causes bad breath even after brushing, it would do you good to get a complete diagnosis. Some medical conditions that bad breath might be indicative of include respiratory infection, postnasal drip, chronic sinusitis, or an infection of the windpipe or nose.
How to Fix Bad Breath
How to cure bad breath permanently is a common question. Truth be told, when it comes to offering a permanent solution to a problem as multi-dimensional as bad breath, there’s a lot of ground to cover.
Every person’s case is different, there may not be a single solution that will work for everyone. However, there are some measures known to be helpful:
1. Clean Your Teeth and Gums Properly
Rather unsurprisingly, bad breath is most often linked with poor oral hygiene. Cleaning your teeth and gums properly – flossing in the crevices between your teeth, and brushing under your tongue – can play an integral part in eradicating bad breath.
2. Scrape Your Tongue
Most individuals tend to forget the importance of cleaning their tongues. Not only can your tongue provide a moist, breeding ground for bacteria, but it also contains food particles. Investing in a good tongue scraper may rid you of bad breath for good.
3. Improve Your Diet
Foods play a huge role in causing bad breath, which is why it is a great idea to improve your diet. Try eating vegetables such as celery and carrots. Eat fruits as well. Stay away from sugary and junk foods.
4. Chew Gum
This one comes as a no-brainer. Chewing gum, and mints, helps with bad breath and can be a convenient and cheap way to prevent halitosis.
5. Drink More Water
Xerostomia is a key cause of bad breath, which is why it is of the utmost importance that you stay hydrated, and ensure that your mouth is producing enough saliva to cleanse itself.
What Is Chronic Halitosis?
According to the American Dental Association, halitosis refers to ‘chronic bad breath,’ and is a problem that persists even after you’ve brushed and flossed your teeth. Unlike dragon, or morning breath, which usually goes away after you’ve cleaned your teeth, chronic halitosis lingers for a long time and is usually a sign of something more serious.
In some instances, chronic halitosis may be caused by cavities or infections, whereas in other situations, it may be a result of underlying medical conditions. Either way, if you suspect that your bad breath isn’t as fickle of an issue as you might have thought it to be, you could be suffering from chronic halitosis and should consult your doctor.
Although bad breath can be a source of embarrassment and anxiety to many, a visit to the dentist can help alleviate all the tension related to halitosis. Having said that, if you take caution and practice healthy oral hygiene, you won’t have anything to worry about. If the issue persists even after maintaining healthy dental hygiene, visit the dentist and get a proper examination.