Talking to someone who has bad breath could be a nauseating experience. The person you talk to is apparently aware of his problem and tends to look away while mumbling something under his (foul) breath. You just cannot but focus on his bad breath, and therefore all you want is cut the talk short. The guy who is cursed with bad breath seems unlikely to make a career or form a happy relationship. We should bear in mind that bad breath is a problem that can be tackled once and for all. More importantly, it is possible to find exact causes of the condition.
Almost a half of all adults on the planet suffer from bad breath or halitosis though the condition varies by the severity. Bad breath mostly affects those who pay little attention to oral hygiene. However, toothpaste is not a cure-all for bad breath, especially if the condition is caused by a disease.
As a rule, a person starts to fight the consequence in place of the cause once he becomes aware of the problem. They can try using a number of things including mouthwashes, chewing gum and lozenges. However, the above can only have a short-term effect. Bad breath will be back in place half an hour later.
People have been trying many methods of fighting bad breath from time immemorial. There are lots of popular remedies on record. For example, our ancestors would rinse their oral cavities with infusions made from wormwood, alder or mint. They would also drink decoctions made from oak bark, St. John’s wort, nettle, camomile and birch trees. Fresh apples were also used for the purpose. Plain strong tea is arguably the commonest medicine to kill bad breath. Tea has polyphenol, a bactericidal substance that helps neutralize the smell.
Importance of cleaning your tongue
Bad breath is caused by a lack of sufficient or proper oral hygiene in about 90% of all cases. The problem may also stem from a sore tooth or other dental conditions (gingivitis, denture sore mouth etc.) A qualified dentist can help resolve all the above. However, if you still have bad breath after a recent visit to your dentist, the problem has to do with bacteria lurking in between the teeth and clinging to the gums. Anaerobic bacteria (those living and growing in the absence of free oxygen) feed on leftovers and dead cells. The harmful microorganisms attack teeth and gums, producing a typical foul smell.
The surface of your tongue is covered with minute projections, which give it a furred appearance. There are also numerous tiny grooves running across its surface. That is where the bacteria huddle in large numbers. Take a look at your tongue in the mirror. The tongue looks coated, especially at the root. Bacteria never accumulate on the front part of the tongue, which is always in contact with the palate. You are strongly recommended to brush your tongue after brushing your teeth. You can use either a regular toothbrush or a special spoon for tongue cleansing. A spoon can be purchased at a drugstore. A common teaspoon is another option. Scraping should be done in a regular fashion, from the root toward the tip of the tongue. You are likely to be pleasantly surprised at the results of the very first tongue cleansing. Your breath will stay fresh all day long.
The tongue is not the only place where bacteria accumulate. A great deal of them lives and multiplies in between the teeth. The area is often inadequately cleaned by a toothbrush, no matter what commercials may say about some state-of-the-art toothbrush reportedly capable of reaching places other toothbrushes cannot reach etc. Cleaning between the teeth is best when done with the help of a dental floss, a very important utensil of oral hygiene. Unfortunately, most of us ignore the floss, while some people are still unaware of its existence. Meanwhile, dentists recommend that the floss should be used on the teeth at least once a day. The floss is a simple yet very effective tool for cleaning the sides of a tooth.
On the benefits of saliva
It is also useful to apply special antibacterial gels and rinse your oral cavity with alcohol-free mouthwashes. To a certain extent, the dryness in the mouth at night when there is a decrease in the secretion of saliva gives rise to a rapid growth of bacteria and, consequently, to a typical foul smell that fills the mouth in the morning. In fact, we “flush” some of the harmful bacteria from the mouth by swallowing saliva. Incidentally, there is a lack of moisture in the mouth of a regular smoker. Therefore, a smoker will have more anaerobic bacteria (largely responsible for bad breath) in his mouth regardless of a conscientiously applied program of oral hygiene.
Some cases require taking more radical steps in order to fight the persistent bad breath. For example, the use of peroxide carbamide contained in special toothpastes can do the trick. Once the substance is placed in the mouth, it starts to emit active oxygen, which has a strong antibacterial effect. The treatment can help even in the most complicated cases of halitosis.
Causes of temporary halitosis may include recently eaten strongly flavored food, such as garlic or onions, and drugs such as a paraldehyde. Other causes include mouth breathing, periodontal diseases, and infective conditions of the nose, throat, and lungs (especially bronchiectasis). Constipation, indigestion, and some liver diseases may also cause the condition.
Translated by Guerman Grachev