Bad breath is something everybody deals with from time to time. Some people have it all the time- and are completely unaware! Brushing consistently and using mouthwash seems to be a quick fix, but does it really eliminate bad breath, or does it just cover it up?
Halitosis, the proper term for bad breath, is caused by germs from food particles in the mouth. Toothpastes and mouthwashes are usually mint-flavored for two reasons: making them pleasing to taste as well as covering up nasty bad breath. However, it also covers up something else- the fact that it is not curing bad breath whatsoever. Mouthwash has an immediate effect, but bad breath has the annoying tendency to linger for a while. God forbid we eat something strong smelling, like garlic or onions, the aroma not only sticks to our gums and teeth, but it actually gets carried through our bloodstream and lungs. This causes the bad breath to rear its ugly head every time we exhale, regardless of which techniques have been used to mask it. Using mouthwash certainly helps to reduce bad breath, but proper brushing and flossing is essential to removing food particles completely. Regular teeth cleanings are also an absolute must! They help keep your mouth fresh and “bad” bacteria free. In addition, regular check-ups to detect cavities is vital to attacking problems before they flourish.
Halitosis can also be caused by other factors, such as poor-fitting dentures, yeast infections in the mouth, and untreated cavities. Untreated cavities give nasty bacterias a place to live and grow! In additon, many who suffer from dry mouth tend to have a problem with halitosis. Dry mouth can be caused by medical conditions or certain medications. Have you ever noticed that you tend to have bad breath when you have a cold? This is because you sometimes breathe through your mouth when you have nasal congestion during a cold, which causes your mouth to dry out!
Bad breath is a common occurrence that none of us can completely avoid. However, we can maintain good practices to decrease it. Practicing good oral hygiene by brushing and flossing at least twice a day or after every meal works wonders in curbing stinky breath. Remember: bad breath is not always evident to the person who has it, but it is very evident to everyone else! Practice healthy habits for a clean, bright, fresh smile that no one will be afraid of.