Top 5 Tips on How to Prevent Bad Breath

Bad breath, more professionally known as halitosis, is one of the most common oral health issues that everyone, at one point or another, will deal with - at least briefly. If your bad breath goes away after brushing your teeth, the cause was clearly because you ate something like garlic, meaning it's nothing to worry about. If your bad breath continues no matter what you seem to do, however, it can be embarrassing and socially isolating. While bad breath is not usually a serious medical condition, it can be a sign of underlying oral health problems or other medical issues.

What Causes Bad Breath? 

There are several factors and causes that can contribute to bad breath. Some of the most common causes include: 

· Poor Oral Hygiene 

One of the most common causes of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. If food bits are left in the mouth and are caught in your teeth, they can break down and produce a foul odor. Bacteria can also build up on the teeth and tongue, leading to bad breath. If you practice good oral hygiene, you can usually stop this, though keep in mind that you may have begun to develop issues like plaque and tartar, or more serious issues like gum disease, that will need to be addressed directly.  

· Gum Disease

Gum disease or periodontal disease is common, and one of the main side effects is bad breath. Gum disease is caused by bacteria buildup, which in turn can release a bad odor. It's the same as any infection. If you leave an infection be, it will smell bad and hurt - the same will happen to an infection in the gums. Similarly, tooth decay can also result in bad breath. Both issues must be seen to by a professional at BAFDentistry.  

· Dry Mouth

When the mouth is dry, there isn't enough liquid to wash away food bits and bacteria. When these remain in the mouth, they can start to rot and cause bad breath. The bacteria is a prime cause, however, so don't dismiss dry mouth as a cause just because you floss or brush to make sure you don't have food particles. 

· Smoking and Tobacco Use

Smoking damage the teeth. It causes extreme discoloration and, in many cases, bad breath. The bad breath smell, in this case, will be the smell of smoke, similar to what your clothes smell like. Know that unrestricted smoking can lead to also lead gum disease or dry mouth, which can result in longer-lasting bad breath. 

· Smelly Foods

Certain foods and drinks can cause bad breath, such as garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol. These substances can be absorbed into the bloodstream and then released through the breath. These foods should only cause bad breath for a short period of time and can usually be fixed by chewing sugarless gum or when you brush your teeth.

· Medical Conditions

There are many medical conditions that can also cause bad breath, including sinus infections, respiratory infections, and digestive issues. Keep in mind, of course, that bad breath can also be a sign of a more serious condition like kidney or liver disease. If the following tips don't stop your bad breath, then book in to see your dentist or doctor ASAP.  

Top 5 Tips to Prevent Bad Breath  

The good news for those with bad breath is that there are many different ways that you can fix the issue. Remember, of course, that if an issue like gum disease causes your bad breath, you must treat the cause before treating the symptom. With that in mind, these are the top five tips to help prevent or at least reduce your bad breath:

1. Practice Good Oral Hygiene

The most effective way to prevent bad breath is by maintaining good oral hygiene. Start by brushing your teeth at least twice daily, though ideally after every meal. When you brush your teeth, you'll want to do it for two minutes each time and use fluoride toothpaste for the best results. Don't forget also to use a tongue scraper, as bacteria can build up there too. When it comes to removing food bits and keeping plaque at bay, flossing is your best friend. Aim to floss at least once per day, though more often is recommended. To kill off any remaining bacteria and give your breath a boost of freshness, finish it off with a mouthwash. 

2. Stay Hydrated

Dry mouth is the most common cause of bad breath. Saliva plays an important role in flushing out bacteria from your mouth, so it's important to stay hydrated to keep saliva flowing. Aim to drink your recommended allotment of water to keep your mouth moist. You can also try chewing sugar-free gum or sucking on sugar-free candies to stimulate saliva production.

3. Watch Your Diet

What you eat can also affect the freshness of your breath. Avoid known foods and drinks that cause bad breath, like coffee, onions, or garlic. These substances are absorbed into your bloodstream and carried to your lungs, where they can affect the smell of your breath. Instead, opt for foods high in fiber, such as fruits and vegetables, as they can help to scrub away any food particles and bacteria from your teeth and gums.

4. Quit Smoking

Smoking will stain your teeth and increases your risk of tooth decay and gum disease. In addition to this, and in some cases because of those conditions, smoking typically leads to bad breath. Cigarettes leave a strong odor in your mouth that can linger for hours. Smoking also dries out your mouth, making it easier for bacteria to grow and cause bad breath. Quitting smoking can improve not only your breath but also your overall health.

5. Visit Your Dentist on a Regular Basis 

Regular (at least yearly, though ideally every six months) dental check-ups and cleanings work to reduce bad breath or even prevent bad breath outright. Your dentist can identify any dental problems, such as gum disease or cavities, that may be contributing to bad breath. They can provide you with advice on how to improve your oral hygiene routine and recommend products that can help to freshen your breath.