You are at a social gathering at your new office and meeting most of your colleagues for the first time, getting to know them better. You’re well-groomed and suitably dressed for the occasion, ready to make an impression. But as soon as you open your mouth, smiles fade, and steps are taken back. It takes some minutes for you to realise the cause, and you are embarrassed.
Known as Halitosis in medical terms, it is more than a humiliating and a socially inacceptable faux pas; it is a social crime. Especially since it is avoidable and completely treatable. Halitosis is more common than we realise and is mostly a result of bad dental hygiene. In extreme cases it is an indicator of failing oral health. Reasons can range from gum disease and cavities to diabetes and severe gastrointestinal problems. Before we look at the ways of keeping bad breath away, let us briefly see some of its main causes.
Causes of Halitosis
- Poor oral hygiene
- Gastrointestinal problems
- Reduction of saliva
- Gum disease
- Diet changes
- Infections and allergies
- Respiratory diseases
Most of these causes are illness-related and may disappear with the disease. But maintaining good oral hygiene is up to us. So here are out top five tips to keep bad breath away.
- Brush twice a day
Whenever we eat, food particles get stuck between our teeth and gums. If they are not cleaned, they start rotting and give off a sulphurous odour and your breath will smell like rotten eggs. Brushing twice daily removes these particles before they can start rotting. Using an IDA-recommended toothpaste with minty flavour will also help in your fight against halitosis.
- Clean your tongue
This is a surprising measure. How can our tongue be a cause of bad breath? The unique structure of our tongue provides many nooks and crannies for bad bacteria to grow. Such places are very difficult to reach and clean with a toothbrush. Even the flushing action of the saliva doesn’t help completely. Use a dentist-recommended tongue scraper and use mouthwash to get rid of the hidden bacteria.
- Treat your cavities
Cavities happen when we do not follow the basics of dental hygiene. Cavities are not only painful, but they are also notorious food trappers. As we chew our food, large portions of food can get lodged into these cavities. It is an ideal breeding ground for bad bacteria. Visit your dentist at least twice a year for regular check-ups. This way you can catch a cavity before it does any significant damage.
- Keep your saliva moving
Saliva not only helps you digest your food, but it also acts as a natural mouth cleanser. There are some medical conditions or medicines which can reduce the amount of saliva your mouth can produce. It causes your breath to smell. One way to fight this is to stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, it will flush away bad bacteria. The other is to chew sugarless gum to induce your mouth to produce saliva.
- Floss every day
One of the most underrated good oral practice is flossing. It is a sure way of removing plaque and other debris from between the teeth. It is an essential element of oral health, but most of don’t know how to floss. One way of getting around this problem is by using a water flosser, like one made by Oracura. It uses water to gently clean between your teeth and it has a small learning curve. You will find a wide range of compact and portable water flossers from Oracura to fortify your oral health.
These are simple tips that do not require a significant investment of time or money. It is just a matter of incorporating these habits in your daily oral routine. Yes, it is a bit of extra work, but a confident smile and an odourless breath are rewards enough.