What is halitosis and how to avoid it?

What is halitosis?

Halitosis is a medical term for bad breath. It is a common problem that a lot of people have and are concerned about. It is the unpleasant and foul odour present in our mouth. It’s an underlying sign that there’s something not going right in your body and could be a symptom of a larger oral health problem. It is one of the main reasons why people ask help from the dentist due to gum disease or tooth decay.

What causes bad breath?

Bad oral hygiene is one of the major causes of bad breath. If you do not brush your teeth and tongue regularly it can build plaque and the bacteria in your tongue will leave an unpleasant odour in your mouth. Bad breath can also be caused by food and medication. When you eat garlic, onion, spicy food and vinegary food it can cause temporary bad breath. Some medication that you take in a long term can cause bad breath as well. Skipping meals and a ketogenic diet can also contribute to bad breath. This specific diet will give you very little carbohydrate, thus make your body exhale ketones that has a foul aroma. Smoking tobacco and drinking alcohol is also one of the main causes of bad breath. It will dry out your mouth, leave its odour to your mouth and it can cause gum disease which can lead to halitosis.

Can brushing and mouthwash get rid of bad breath?

Bad breath is usually caused by an oral infection and cannot be eliminate by simply brushing your teeth. Dental procedures are often needed to cure the infection from an oral source. Using mouthwash does not solve bad breath either. It only covers up the foul smell and temporarily replaces them with mouthwash odour.

What is halitosis and how to avoid it?
Photo: Balouriarajesh, Pixabay.

How to eliminate bad breath?

Good oral hygiene
Brushing and flossing your teeth at least twice a day can reduce build up of plaque on your teeth. Brushing every each meal will help remove food particles in your teeth. Regularly brushing your tongue will also eliminate the dead cells and bad bacteria build up to your tongue. If you have dentures make sure to clean them thoroughly and soak them overnight to disinfect. Clean your braces and removable retainers as directed by your dentist before placing them back to your mouth. It is also advisable to visit your dentist for a checkup and have your teeth clean twice a year.

Parsley is it is one of the highest herbs and vegetables in chlorophyll. It is known for helping eliminate the odour from garlic and vinegar. If you have too much garlic or too much vinegar in your system and your breath smells, you can chew on parsley to help get rid of the foul smell of garlic and vinegar. You can also add it to a salad or juice it to add parsley into your diet.

Avoid a dry mouth
Water really helps keep things moving in your systems. It helps flushing food particles and keeps your mouth hydrated. Avoid consuming things that cause dehydration on your mouth like tobacco and alcohol. Make sure you’re getting plenty of water in your system.

Quit smoking tobacco
Since smoking is one of the main causes of bad breath, if you stop smoking, not only will your breath improve but so is your overall health.

Dental check up
If bad breath and dry mouth is persistent you should schedule a visit with your dentist discuss halitosis. To help you find the cause and help you with prescriptions and treatment for any medical or oral issues.

Dr. Angel Halim
Dr. Angel Halimhttps://www.hornsbydentist.com.au
I am currently a dentist at Hornsby Dental but outside of dentistry, I try living life to the fullest. I enjoy the adrenaline rush with bungy jumping, sky diving, canyoning, abseiling and numerous other random physical challenges. On the flip side spending time with family, friends, eating well, travelling and learning new things are equally rewarding.
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