2024-05-07         13      1,925


Everyone experiences mild bad breath at some point, whether at dawn after a night binge on sweets or spicy treats, fighting indigestion, or after a prolonged silence. However, if bad breath persists after brushing, flossing, or using mouthwash, it may be classified as chronic bad breath or a pointer to other health concerns.

Also known as halitosis, bad breath is caused by sulfur-producing bacteria in the mouth, throat, and tonsils that release compounds with unpleasant odors that can be quite off-putting to people.

Bad breath stems from poor oral hygiene and unhealthy lifestyle habits. If left untreated, bad breath can affect social or professional interactions and erode self-esteem. The good news is that anyone afflicted with chronic bad breath can improve it with simple adjustments to their food, lifestyle, and oral hygiene routine. Here are some easy self-care techniques to help minimize and eliminate bad breath.

• Proper Oral Care: Be sure to use soft/medium bristled toothbrushes and toothpaste. This simple routine will help to eliminate food particles and plaque, which are prime targets for bacteria that cause dental issues. Avoid toothpastes that contain fluoride.

• Brush with Baking Soda: Oral bacteria thrive in an acidic environment, so consider occasionally brushing your teeth with baking soda to neutralize excess acids in the mouth. This also helps to whiten your teeth, get rid of plaque, and reduce the risk of gum diseases like gingivitis. Don’t do this too often though, to avoid damaging your enamel and making your teeth more sensitive.

• Eat Foods Rich in Fiber: High-fiber foods help prevent halitosis. Avoid or reduce your intake of heavily processed foods that contain refined carbohydrates such as cookies, cakes, sweets, and ice cream. Stick to organic options like fruits and vegetables, which are also rich in vitamins B, C, D, and E, and antioxidants that help you maintain fresh breath.

• Stimulate Salivary Flow: Prevent dry mouth by chewing sugar-free gum, lozenges, or mints. Also, take small sips of water throughout the day. Steer clear of alcohol-based mouthwashes as they can exacerbate dry mouth.

• Use Mouthwash: Mouthwashes or oral rinses are effective at preventing bad breath, and additionally prevent decay and strengthen your teeth. Remember to avoid oral hygiene products with fluoride and sodium lauryl sulfate.

• Drink Green and Black Teas: Green tea and black teas can eliminate sulfur compounds and reduce oral bacteria due to their polyphenol content. This is more effective when you don’t add sugar or milk.

• Clean Your Mouth after Meals: Practice consistent and thorough oral hygiene after every meal. Add flossing to your routine, especially when your meals consist of meat, fish, or dairy products.

• Don’t Smoke: Studies indicate that smoking and other harmful habits like alcohol consumption and a poor diet increase the risk of periodontal disease, dry mouth, and chronic anxiety; the onset, which would require intense medications.