Bad breath, is it common? Yes and don’t be embarrassed, unfortunately this problem is not an uncommon problem. It might look as a small thing that we can scrub out by brushing our teeth or rinse using mouthwash, but for some people, bad breath is a long term problem that can’t be solved even with the strongest mouthwash. To get rid of this confidence crushers problem, the first thing we have to understand is what really cause bad breath and from there, we can decide the right method on how to get rid of bad breath effectively.
What Causes Bad Breath?
Most of us know that bacteria in our mouth is the main cause of bad breath, but it’s actually way more than that. We have to find out the roots that cause bacteria to build up. Another thing we have to understand before we digging in on the causes is that bacteria in our mouth is not the only source of bad breath. Various problems in internal digestive system are also other causes. Learn more on the causes below and find the best way to get rid of bad breath effectively.
1. Avoid Food with Strong Odor
This is most probably the lightest cause of bad breath. When we consume foods with strong odor e.g raw onions or garlic, the after smell will stay in our mouth for few days. Those foods are broken down in our mouth and they will stay in our digestive system at least for 24 hour. Foods like garlic or onion has a molecule called mercaptans, which is a type of sulfur compounds that’s converted by our body into hydrogen sulfide. This hydrogen sulfide is the one that has rotten egg odor. Therefore, brushing, flossing or using mouthwash will give us temporary freshness, but the odor will stay as long as the foods stay in our system.
The easiest way on how to get rid of bad breath is definitely by choosing our food wisely. It doesn’t mean that we can’t eat those foods, but it would be great if we ate them moderately or simply choose the right timing to eat those. Don’t take them if we have a social event or important event within 2 days after the food consumption.
2. Take Plenty of Water When Drinking Coffee
Unfortunately, drinking coffee is also another cause of bad breath. It’s not because the caffeine in the coffee trigger bacteria, but it slows down saliva production, which will dry our mouth. When our mouth is dry, bacteria will grow.
Some of us can’t get enough of coffee no matter how much we’ve taken. To compensate dryness in mouth because of coffee or alcohol, we have to drink plenty of water. Water will flush out the compound from the coffee that stick to the teeth and mouth, which could lead to bacteria growth. At the same time, water will rehydrate the mouth area and refresh it.
3. Watch Out That Alcohol Consumption
Just like coffee, the same thing goes to alcohol. When it comes to alcohol, we will get both odor: alcohol smell and rotten smell from the dry mouth. Not so much fun, isn’t?
Water would be able to flush out the mouth and keep it hydrated, but if you don’t want to drink that much water during your social event, then make sure to have mint in your pocket. It will save your night!
4. Brush The Teeth Before Bed
Poor dental hygiene is the most common cause of bad breath. If we don’t brush our teeth in daily manner, especially at night before bed, the small particles of food will stay and decay in our mouth then build bacteria on our teeth, gum and definitely tongue, which is bacterias favorite playground.
Brushing teeth is the most basic way on how to get rid of bad breath and it must become routine.
How to do it right? Brush our teeth minimum twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. Brushing the teeth will help us to remove the plaque bacteria. When brushing the teeth, we should not forget to brush the tongue as well, especially the back of our tongue where bacteria grows the most. Gum and the ceiling of our mouth also needs cleaning. We can use the regular toothbrush to clean them, but make sure to use very soft toothbrush, so it won’t scratch the gum. Don’t brush the gum too hard because if it’s swollen, scratched or wounded, it will be a home of bacteria.
5. Floss Regularly
Just like brushing our teeth, flossing is also important because it could get rid of the food particles that are trapped between teeth.
When flossing, make sure not to do it too hard or touch the gum. If gum is scratched by the dental floss, not only that it hurts, but also a favorite place for bacteria to grow.
6. Use Natural Mouthwash
Top up the hygiene routine by rinsing it with mouthwash. It’s highly recommended to use a natural mouthwash or one that’s not too strong. Strong mouthwash has more chemical, alcohol and minty flavor that will dry out the mouth area which could lead to bad breath. Natural ingredients like baking soda can be a good solution. We can use it occasionally to neutralise acids that are found in the oral cavity.
7. Beware of Cavities and Gum Disease
Dental problem or mouth disease is also a common bad breath cause, we can prevent or cure it with regular check to the dentist. If we have a persistent bad breath or bad taste in our mouth, then it could be a sign or dental problem like cavities or gum disease. The diseases are caused by the buildup of plaque on the teeth. It leads up to our previous point on how important it is to have a good dental hygiene.
A routine check up to the dentist at least twice a year is crucial for both prevention and medication. With routine dental check up, we would be able to detect and avoid some light or serious dental problem that could cause bad breath e.g xerostomia ( dry mouth) or salivary gland problem.
8. Don’t Skip Dentist Appointment
For those with dentures or braces, routine check up is a must. With those dental appliances, cleaning food particles is not an easy matter. Even though we have done the suggested dental routine, there would be small particles left or stuck on the appliances. With routine dental check, dentist would be able to remove the appliances ( wire or band on the braces) and clean them thoroughly.
9. Avoid Acid Reflux by Eating in Small Portion
Our body internal organs is a one system that’s linked to each other. Many long- term bad breath problems are caused by internal diseases in other part of the body other than mouth area. Some of the diseases that could cause bad breath are infection on respiratory tract system, bronchitis, pneumonia, sinus, diabetes, acid reflux, kidney and liver problem. Some of the mentioned diseases require medical treatment and some others only require a change of lifestyle and diet. When we are talking about acid reflux that is the most common cause of bad breath, it actually something that we can treat and prevent.
Acid reflux is a medical condition also known as GERD ( gastroesophageal reflux disease). GERD is stomach content backward flow, which is mostly caused by LES ( Lower Esophageal Sphincter) dysfunction. The main function of LES is separating our stomach and oesophagus area. Ideally, this valve- like muscle will open up when we swallow food, so it could flow to the stomach, then close tightly when it’s done. On some people, LES doesn’t close properly, that allows acid from undigested food to flow back to the throat, causing bad breath.
Some habit changes can be done to prevent acid reflux, which automatically prevent bad breath. The easiest way is by eating small portion 5 times a day instead of three big portion a day is one of the ways. While eating our food, we have to make sure that we eat slowly and chew thoroughly. These habits will make food digestion easier. As the result, out internal organs will digest and process the food faster, leaving less undigested food and residue on the stomach. Therefore, no acid will be pushed back to the pipe and cause bad breath.
10. Quit Smoking
As we might know, smoking is the cause of various diseases and health problems. It’s not a surprise if smoking is a common cause of bad breath. The worse thing about smoking compared to other causes of bad breath is that it could cause it in multiple ways. Not only does the smell stays in the mouth, but also linger in the lungs for hours or days, causing a permanent bad breath.
Well it’s just the beginning, there are more than 60 carcinogenic aromatic hydrocarbons in tobacco smoke, which could stay in the mouth and lungs, which means there are more than 60 kinds of odor or the multiple combination of them that will stay in a smoker’s’ mouth or lungs. One doesn’t need to finish a pack of cigarette to get the odor, a half cigar is strong enough to trigger the smell. Unfortunately it doesn’t stop until that point. Tobacco is able to dry out the palate, which lead to dry mouth and cause bad breath. Not to forget to mention, smoking leads to poor dental hygiene, dental and gum problems, lung disease, which all lead to bad breath.
So how to get rid of bad breath. Simple, just quit smoking. By quitting smoking, all the triggers of bad breath will be gone.
- Saliva in mouth will be produced naturally and able to move freely, coating the whole mouth surface, which will automatically remove the bacteria inside the mouth.
- Without any blockage on the blood vessel, nutrients will be absorbed easily and it includes vitamin C that could fight bacteria from growing and cause bad breath. All the smell from nicotine, tar and all the chemical in the mouth and lungs will be washed away and cleared up.
- Tissues cells that’s broken by the chemical will heal naturally, giving the body a chance to rebuild the damaged area including cure the gum diseases.
For smokers who have a problem with bad breath, the best ultimate way of how to get rid of bad breath is definitely quit smoking.
11. Choose The Vitamin and Supplement Correctly
How on earth vitamin and supplement cause bad breath? Vitamin and supplements are giving good contribution to our body, but we have to remember than those are similar to foods. It’s not something that our body produce naturally and our body would give certain reaction to the ingredients. One of the examples of vitamin or nutrient that could give bad breath is Omega 3 fatty acid. It does look like a very natural source of supplement, but the oil is made of fish tissue that can give us bad breath in a snap. The same things goes for any supplements that contains garlic powder or pills. The ingredient has high level of VSC content ( allyl methyl sulphide) that will excessively flow into our blood vessels. mucus membranes and sweat gland. Therefore, not only that we could get bad breath, but also bad body odor as unpleasant bonus.
How to get rid of bad breath when we need those vitamins and supplement? There are two ways that we can do, either getting the needed nutrients from natural food in moderate portion as the part of our diet or check the ingredients of the vitamins and supplements carefully. Natural vitamin C, D, E and B are very effective to help our body to get rid of toxin and mucus. It will give both nutrients to our body and flush out the toxin.
12. Eat More Fibrous Food
As mentioned on the first point, food is one of the most common cause of bad breath. The best way to get rid of bad breath naturally is definitely changing our diet. The food that we eat will indirectly determine our breath odor. Sometimes it doesn’t take strong odored food like onion or garlic. Our daily eating habit that contains refined carbohydrate like cookies and cakes, ice cream and sweets that will affect the mouth odor a lot.
The best foods that should be in our list are foods with high fiber. Not only that high fibrous foods leaves less compounds on the mouth area, but it also helps us to clean our teeth and gums naturally.
13. Eat Less Sugary Foods and Beverages
Avoid sugary drinks like flavored soda and if we love to drink coffee, make sure to drink a lot of water. It might not everybody’s favorite, but actually the best beverage to prevent and help get rid of bad breath are green tea and black tea. The types of tea has high polyphenols that will help reduce bacteria inside the mouth and at the same time reduce sulfur compound.
14. Chew Lemon or These Herbs
Some ingredients that we can find in our kitchen can be the best home remedies on how to get rid of bad breath. Lemon is one of them. Not only that lemon could give an instant refreshing feeling in mouth, but also stimulate saliva gland that will rehydrate our mouth.
Some herbs that we can consider are cloves, aniseeds and fennel seeds. Those herbs have excellent antiseptic material that could flush out and kill bacteria that causes bad odor.
15. Eat Yogurt
Eating plain yogurt twice a day is proven to be effective way on how to get rid of bad breath, especially if we have it for awhile. Yogurt with its good bacteria could reduce the hydrogen sulfide level in mouth. Another great thing about eating yogurt is that the food contain calcium and vitamin D that will strengthen our teeth, help us preventing cavities.
In brief, there are so many ways on how to get rid of bad breath, but fighting it from the roots by paying attention to our food intake and creating good dental hygiene habit are the best and most effective way to do it. Give it a try and say goodbye to bad breath.