Bad breath is a potentially embarrassing yet common problem. It is unfortunately the type of problem that flies under the radar because most people are too polite to point it out.
One way to check if you have bad breath, also known as halitosis, is to lick the back of your wrist, let it dry for a minute, before taking a whiff. You may also scrape the back of your tongue with a spoon and smell the whitish residue when it dries. The tests reveal how your breath is likely to smell to others.
Bad breath is caused by an accumulation of anaerobic bacteria in the mouth, usually due to food debris trapped in your teeth or other factors like tooth decay and gum disease. It can also be caused by oral dryness or by eating certain foods like onion and garlic. Transient bad breath usually goes away with improved oral hygiene, while prolonged halitosis may require specialised treatment.
This colony of anaerobic bacteria produces metabolic by-products known as volatile sulphur compounds (VSC), compounds that have the same foul smell as the gas produced by a rotting egg (hydrogen sulphide).
In this blog, we’ll discuss the different ways of dealing with halitosis, to help restore your fresh and odour-free breath.
Brush after every meal
Hackneyed as this sounds, brushing after each meal works wonders for your breath. The key is to remove food debris by brushing after each meal so that they do not develop into foul-smelling plaque.
Brushing your teeth may not completely remove food debris trapped between your teeth. Flossing is the best way to clean those hard-to-reach pockets. Again, this prevents plaque from building up in the crevices between your teeth and gums. You can further read our blog on How to floss your teeth.
Healthy dental lifestyle
Being in the pink of dental health involves drinking lots of water, reducing coffee and alcohol intake, and not smoking at all. All these activities will help to provide a normal oral environment that is less prone to bad breath.
Use special products
The use of specially designed chemical toothpastes and mouthwashes can help to neutralise the Volatile Sulphur Compounds (VSC) produced in the mouth.
Examples include products containing chlorine dioxide, which produces oxygen that creates an unfavourable environment for the anaerobic bacteria and binds with the VSC to neutralise the smell.
One of the ways to manage a more severe variety of bad breath is to create a more balanced bacterial environment in the mouth, composed mainly of the good bacteria and not the bad bacteria. This method known as the probiotic approach uses specialised mouthwashes and lozenges to suppress the bad bacteria and change the bacterial composition in the mouth.
Visit your Canberra dentist regularly
Last but certainly not least, you should visit your Canberra dentist for regular checks and cleans. Routine dental examinations and cleaning sessions make an important safeguard against the development of oral ailments, including those that give rise to bad breath.