Have you ever noticed how some people are forever obsessing about their breath when there is really nothing wrong with it, while others will cheerfully chat away, oblivious to the fact that they are dousing their interlocutor with bad breath?
As we all know, it is extremely difficult to smell your own breath, making it hard to know if you are suffering from halitosis (bad breath) or not. One good indicator that your breath is more than normally odorous is when people flinch and turn away slightly whenever you open your mouth. But, if you want to check your own breath without inflicting it on others, here are a few tips.
How to tell if you have bad breath
- After flossing your back teeth, smell the floss.
- Scrape your tongue, using a scraper or a clean plastic spoon, and smell the scrapings.
- Wash your hands and then lick the back. When the saliva dries, smell it.
Causes of bad breath
Ninety percent of bad breath is caused by build-ups of bacteria in the mouth. We always have some bacteria in our mouths, but if this is not controlled with regular brushing and flossing, it grows, causing a build-up of plaque, and ultimately, tooth decay. This, combined with the odor of rotting food trapped between your teeth, is what leads to bad breath, in most cases. The most effective way to prevent or get rid of bad breath is to brush twice a day, and floss once.
Bad breath can also be caused by a variety of medical conditions such as acid reflux, infections, or complications from diabetes, to name a few.
How to get rid of bad breath
Like we said, brushing and flossing regularly are your main weapons in the fight against halitosis, but there is no harm in reinforcing them with a few home remedies for bad breath.
Parsley doesn’t just taste fresh, chewing it will also help combat the odors from any sulfur compounds that have developed in your mouth. Chew fresh leaves after every meal.
Another folk remedy for making your breath, among other things, sweeter is pineapple juice. Although this claim isn’t yet backed up by science, people who have tried it — claim it works. Drink a glass of pineapple juice or chew a slice of fresh pineapple after every meal.
The evidence for green tea as a breath freshener is not just anecdotal, research has shown that it, as well as mint tea, contains disinfectant and deodorizing properties that will freshen your breath temporarily. Brew some tea and refrigerate it overnight, then carry it around with you in a water bottle and take sips during the day..
Studies have shown that dry mouth can result in bad breath. Without sufficient saliva in the mouth, bacteria breed unchecked. Keep yourself properly hydrated by drinking water rather than soda during the day. Eight glasses of water a day is the recommended intake.
Milk is very effective in combating bad breath caused by strong smelling food like garlic and onions. Drinking a glass of milk during any particularly aromatic meal will help reduce the after effects.
Baking soda is very effective in destroying mouth bacteria. Make a baking soda mouthwash by adding 2 teaspoons of baking soda to a cup of warm water. Rinse it around your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting.
These tips, combined with improved dental hygiene, should be enough to freshen your breath, but if the symptoms persist, we recommend you book an appointment with your dentist or doctor as your bad breath could be symptomatic of a more serious medical condition. Reach out to Doral Sedation Dentistry if you have additional questions, or to schedule an appointment, today.