Did you know that one in four people suffer from bad breath?
Bad breath is a chronic disease. Even though we do not feel comfortable talking about it (no pun intended), bad breath is an important issue. Picture going for a job interview. Your breath can be a determining factor; Well, it can be really distracting.
Bad breath is usually as a result of Sulphur-like substances that forms in the mouth. Unfortunately, this triggers the smell. When cells begin to die and rot, a natural process of cell renewal. Also, there are certain bacteria that live in your mouth and produces that stench.
There are levels of bad breath. The strength of the smell depends on the level of the bacteria in your mouth and how well you clean your mouth.
From talking too much to diabetes, Experts explain what causes bad breath:
1. Gum disease: this is the most popular reason for mouth odor. When your gums are inflamed, they separate from the teeth, creating enough gaps for bacteria to hide.
2. Not brushing the tongue daily: The back of the tongue is a common spot for bacteria to hang out. Professor Robert Allaker noted that it is an area most of us do not include in our daily tooth cleaning regime. “Cleaning the tongue gently with a toothbrush can help reduce odor,” says Professor Allaker. Also, tongue scrapers and mouthwash help prevent the growth of bugs that form the stinking smell.
3. Stress: Did you know that bad breath is an effect of stress. New research from the Medical University of Sofia in Bulgaria has found stress hormones cause bacteria involved with bad breath to colonize the mouth at a faster rate. So, when you’re feeling stressed, do not forget to floss and take care of your teeth.
4. Talking too much: This one is quite surprising! Anything that causes dry tongue or reduced saliva flow is a culprit. Dr. Druian says: “This is why odor is worse in the morning when saliva flow is reduced and is also more common in people who breathe mostly through the mouth.
“Talking a lot is another factor as it exposes the mouth to air — drying out saliva. So those in vocal professions, such as teachers, lawyers and people working in call centers, are particularly prone. The solution is quite simple — sip water throughout the day to keep the mouth moist. Reduced saliva flow is also more common as we get older and as such bad breath tends to worsen with age. Again, keeping the mouth moist will help. Your doctor can offer sprays or lozenges to promote saliva flow,” says Dr Druian.
5. Blocked Sinuses: “I get a lot of people coming to see me complaining of bad breath and upon examination I find the problem is that they have something wrong with their nose,” says Mr Tysome. ‘They’re suffering chronic sinusitis — an inflammation of the sinuses, which are the air-filled cavities behind the cheekbones and forehead.”
5. Fasting: You may have come in contact with someone who is fasting. Admit it, their breath was kicking! No offense, but next time you choose to fast, brush your teeth or take some mints. Studies by the Dental Clinic of the University of Bern in Switzerland found that breath odor reduced for an average of 2.5 hours after eating; it was longer if the meal has fiber, which acts almost like a toothbrush. So, fasting or not eating regularly could lead to odor.
Practicing good oral hygiene will help reduce these causes.