Bad breath, medically called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems.Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.
Food is a primary source of bad odors that come from the mouth. Some foods, such as garlic, onions, spicy foods, exotic spices (such as curry), some cheeses, fish, and acidic beverages such as coffee can leave a lingering smell. Most of the time the odor is short lived.
The foul oral odor is usually caused by a group of anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria that breed beneath the surface of the tongue and often in the throat and tonsil area. The term “anaerobic” literally means living without oxygen, and in fact, these bacteria do not require oxygen to live. They occur naturally in the oral environment and are essential because they assist in digestion by breaking down proteins into amino acids. Proteins are commonly found in food, mucus or phlegm, blood, and in diseased oral tissue.
If you have bad breath, review your oral hygiene habits. Try making lifestyle changes, such as brushing your teeth and tongue after eating, using dental floss, and drinking plenty of water.
If your bad breath persists after making such changes, see your dentist. If your dentist suspects a more serious condition is causing your bad breath, he or she may refer you to a physician to find the cause of the odor.
It can be caused by residue from acid-forming foods, such as sugar and protein, sticking to the teeth, tongue and mouth. Baking soda can rebalance the levels of acid and help to treat and prevent halitosis. Dissolve half a teaspoon of baking soda in a glass of water to make an effective mouth rinse to beat bad breath.
Gum disease, sometimes called gingivitis, is usually characterised by sore, swollen, bleeding or infected gums, often accompanied by bad breath. If left untreated, it can lead to serious problems. Gum disease is caused by an accumulation of plaque on the teeth. Baking soda discourages the formation of plaque and helps to prevent gum disease. Brush your teeth once or twice a day with baking soda, or choose toothpaste with added baking soda.