How can I get rid of bad breath?11 August 2022
Bad breath can be embarrassing, particularly when you are not aware that you have it, or it is pointed out to you. It’s also an indication of poor oral hygiene which may have negative implications for your teeth and gums. Here we have compiled the best tips for getting rid of bad breath as well as preventative measures to ensure your breath smells fresh all day long. First let’s look at a list of reasons of what causes bad breath to help you to identify what this could be, then we’ll continue with preventative measures, then immediate remedies.
What are the causes?
- Dental health conditions – this can include Gingivitis, the earliest stage of Gum disease if not an advanced condition. Small holes in your teeth containing large amounts of bacteria or food, as well as infections can also cause this.
- Less serious medical conditions – here we’re referring to dry mouth, acid reflux or tonsillitis.
- Any symptoms such as painful, bleeding or swollen gums, toothache, wobbly adult teeth or bad breath which persists
- Massive changes in diet, or crash dieting
- Ensure you stick to a dental hygiene routine
You need to be gently brushing your teeth, in a circular motion to break down plaque at least twice a day, for two minutes a day. One of these occasions should also be used to scrape your tongue with a tongue scraper or cleaner. You should also be flossing regularly, and not brushing so hard that you make your teeth or gums bleed. Making sure you adhere to dental hygiene practises correctly is also important.
- Ensure you have everything you need for your dental hygiene routine
Brushing with a fluoride toothpaste has a number of benefits for your teeth, particularly in the UK. If you do not floss, then you should ideally use interdental brushes. These are designed for cleaning in between the teeth to ensure you do not have any bits of food that gets stuck. Antibacterial toothpastes and mouthwashes are always a good option not just in your routine, but in between too.
- Avoid foods that create bad breath
Garlic and onions are two of the biggest culprits, but anything sugary will increase the acidity in your mouth. Antibacterial mouthwashes can act as an alkaline to this, but prevention is always best. Other big time offenders include spicy foods, strong smelling meals or drinks. Hot drinks such as coffee with large amounts of sugar, syrups or cream apply also.
- If you have dental fittings such as dentures, clean them
Residing in your mouth all day means that any dental fittings such as dentures, veneers, braces (retainers) etc will be subject to the same conditions as your teeth. If you have consumed large amounts of sugary, spicy, or strong smelling foods and drinks then this is even more important. You can clean these by placing them in water and dropping in a steradent tablet, rinsing off for maximum effect.
- Seek dental or medical professional help
If you are noticing any of the signs of gum disease, have a chipped or cracked tooth, or a hole opens in your tooth you should immediately seek an appointment with your dentist. Bad breath can act as a symptom or result of these conditions and if not treated early can result in lasting medical conditions. Prolonged toothache can also be a sign.
- Regularly go for dental check-ups
To prevent any of the above conditions from happening, regularly visiting your dentist (once every six months) means that expertly trained dentists may be able to detect warning signs before even you do.
- Seek help to stop smoking
Aside from what smoking can do to your lungs, the tar and other chemicals found in tobacco products can cling to your teeth which compromise their integrity and can lead to gum disease.
- Use sugar free chewing gum
As any dentist will also advise, it may be tempting, for the taste factor to buy sugary gum for after meals, but if you have had a particularly strong smelling meal or high in acidic foods then this will not make your breath smell better. Using sugar free gum will reduce the acidity in your mouth, making it naturally smell better.
- Moisten your mouth
If you suffer from dry mouth, drinking water is an effective solution to make your mouth smell better and introduce more alkaline. Even if you do not, this is also an effective way to make your mouth smell better, alongside the positive health effects of keeping yourself hydrated. Do not however, do this straight after brushing as this can remove the concentrated fluoride in your toothpaste which removes its preventative effects.
If you have been suffering from prolonged bad breath, it may be time to seek expert dental help. You can book an appointment with us at Pateley Bridge Dental in our contact section.