For most people, the cure for bad breath is as simple and regularly flossing and brushing (in that order) and occasionally using the right kind of mouthwash. With sound oral hygiene, you can feel confident in getting close to people in your daily life.
Halitosis (Bad Breath) Causes
Different medical definitions are available but it basically means bad breath. So what causes halitosis and how do we cure it?
Treatment depends on where the malodour is coming from in our breathing system. It could be from the stomach, sinuses, throat, tonsils or from the mouth.
From inside the mouth
The greatest percentage of halitosis comes from inside the mouth, on the tongue and around the teeth under the gums. The problem is exacerbated by having a dry mouth because you get fewer of the cleansing benefits of saliva and water.
Any food that gets trapped under the gums, between the teeth or under the papillary surface of the tongue will degrade down to sulfide compounds like hydrogen sulfide or mercaptan. This has that rotten egg smell and must be eliminated.
You do get rid of the sources of the smell by scraping your tongue, flossing and brushing your teeth frequently and using a mouthwash. You should also have your teeth cleaned regularly by a hygienist or dentist.
From the stomach
A small percentage of problem breath comes from the stomach. You can tell it comes from the stomach if you burp a lot or have problems like acid reflux.
The best treatment is to see your physician. Also, avoid foods that cause the problem and avoid foods that have a strong odor such as onions and garlic.
Sometimes the foul odor comes from medical conditions such as chronic sinusitis and kidney failure. If you have a medical problem, that issue must be treated in order to eliminate the source.
It’s important to know that most mouth washes and breath mints are largely cosmetic and might only work for about 5 minutes. In fact, if the mouth wash has alcohol in it, the problem is likely to get worse over time as the alcohol disrupts the microbial balance in your mouth. Some dentists recommending using no mouth wash at all.
Mouth rinses containing chlorine dioxide have, however, proven to be effective for curing bad breath. The chlorine dioxide breaks down the sulphide products into water and chlorine and sulphur gas that is driven off. This can keep foul breath away for about 8 hours and can have longer lasting benefits.
As advised by ADA, other antimicrobials that serve as active ingredients in mouthwash are chlorhexidine, cetylpyridinium chloride and essential oils such as eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate and thymol.
Many people use mouthwash after brushing their teeth, though this may not be the best idea. The fluoride in toothpaste helps protect against tooth decay. Washing it away is a bit wasteful. So it may be a good idea to use mouthwash at another time of day.
Flossing, Brushing and Scraping
Flossing, scraping your tongue and brushing are the best things you can do to remove the food particles and plaque that lead to halitosis. Each of these activities takes care of a different part of the mouth: the outside parts of your teeth, the tongue and the interdental space between teeth. There;s a good case for doing all three activities, though few people go to the trouble of tongue scraping.
Finish your mouth cleaning routine by spitting out the toothpaste after brushing. Don’t rinse as this will wash away the beneficial foam and paste. Instead, rinse after flossing and before brushing.
Electrical can be more effective
Studies show that, if used correctly, an electric toothbrush removes plaque and improves gum tissue more effectively than a manual model. It may also be easier to use if you have arthritis or other weakness in your hands.
An electric flosser has a tiny rotating filament protruding from a pencil-like shaft and you place this near the spaces between your teeth. They’re reckoned to be about as effective as manual flossing. An electric flosser is much more expensive than regular dental floss but, like the electric toothbrush, it’s easier to use.
The Mayo doctors seem less keen on water irrigation devices — these direct a narrow stream of water from the tip of the device. They remove food particles but not decay-causing plaque, which is the main problem in tooth and gum decay.
Brushing, flossing, adequate fluoride and regular dental checks are the keystones to good oral health as you get over. The choice of kit you use to carry out your daily routine is yours.
Final Thoughts About Curing Bad Breath
While bad breath seems like mainly a social problem, it also warns us that we could be starting severe periodontal troubles. So see a professional to find out the cause, get treatment and a cure. The solution is usually simple.