Dental hygiene is one of the most important health factors that an individual can take care of. When neglected, all kinds of problems can arise. Some of the problems range from cavities, tooth sensitivity, and – perhaps the most annoying – bad breath!
While everyone has likely had bad breath at one time or another, Colgate reports that one in four people suffer from halitosis on a consistent basis. But it may take more than a piece of gum to get rid of this problem.
Getting rid of this stinky problem begins with identifying the cause of bad breath, according to Hopkins Medicine.
The reasons can be many and vary from one individual to another, with lifestyle and habits playing a big role.
Specific foods are one of the most common reasons because foods like garlic and onion tend to stay in the mouth longer.
Neglecting your oral health care is also doing you a disservice, as a lack of proper brushing, flossing, and dental exams can contribute to a buildup of bacteria in your teeth, gums and tongue, which can lead to a buildup of bacteria. could even progress to more serious complications. .
“Bacteria can be a big problem that contributes to so many different infections. If left untreated, it can inhabit the mouth, release toxins and reproduce, which worsens the problem over time, ”says Jai Ramroop, a freshman health science student.
Chronic dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, can also be a big contributor to unwanted oral odor. When the mouth is constantly dry for long periods of time, saliva cannot pass through the oral cavity to break down leftover food. The reason for dry mouth depends on the individual, but most often it can result from mouth breathing, a disorder of the salivary glands, or a medical side effect.
On the more serious side of things, halitosis can be a sign of periodontal disease: a gum disease in which an infection erodes the soft tissues and bones that support the teeth. This is a condition that would require immediate treatment by a dental professional.
Tobacco products and smoking in general also often cause bad breath. The use of such products leads to an increase in bacteria in the mouth and can often coincide with the aforementioned dry mouth.
When it comes to treatment, the best place to go is your dentist. They can assess your individual oral health and recommend specific remedies to directly address the root cause of your problem.
“The most important thing a person can do in terms of oral health care is to see a dentist for regular visits. It sounds simple, but so many people don’t. You should visit your dentist at least twice a year, and more if you have any underlying health issues or complications. Once they have identified the problem, they can give you tailored advice to deal with the difficulties you are having, ”explains Nadine Yzia, second year dental student at the University of Alberta.
But, in general, there are definitely some things you can do to prevent and treat the problem.
The most obvious: be on top of your oral health care. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day. Brush your tongue and palate as well, as this is where most of the bacteria in halitosis are found. If you smoke, do your best to reduce your habit and eventually quit. It may also be helpful to chew sugarless gum or eat foods that strongly stimulate saliva, such as carrots and apples.
It is also crucial to be aware of your general health and to see a doctor regularly for check-ups. Bad breath can sometimes be caused by another underlying health problem like diabetes, acid reflux, and even allergies.