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. 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.
These bacteria occur naturally in the oral environment and are essential because they assist in digestion by breaking down proteins found in food, mucus or phlegm, blood, and diseased oral tissue into amino acids. The bacteria excrete waste as hydrogen sulfide, methyl mercaptan, and other odorous and bad tasting compounds known as volatile sulfur compounds.As long as the anaerobic bacteria feed on proteins and excrete volatile sulfur compounds unchecked, your breath will become worse and worse.
The practice of a few, simple, self-care techniques can help to minimize halitosis. There are several things you can do at home to this effect, these include:
1. Ensure proper oral hygiene: Brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day with fluoride toothpaste. Be sure to get a toothbrush with soft bristles (so as to avoid damaging your tooth enamel or gums). Brushing and flossing helps to remove any food and plaque which can be used as a fuel source by the anaerobic, sulfur-producing bacteria that are at the root of this problem.
2. Use advanced oral care products: Use oral care products such as mouthwashes and toothpastes that have been shown to be effective in fighting bad breath.
3. Stay hydrated: Water is not only an essential substance for maintaining proper mental and physical balance, it also is important for avoiding bad breath. Water should not be taken only when you are thirsty, take it often to prevent dry mouth and encourage the production of saliva. Water also watches down food particles from the mouth.
4. Stimulate your salivary flow: Prevent dry mouth by chewing gum, lozenges, or mints that are sugar free. Look for Xylitol, a non-sucrose sweetener, which in recent years has been shown to have anti-cavity properties.
5. Eat fibrous fruits and vegetables: One of the best ways to remove bacteria in the mouth is to eat an apple a day. It helps moisten the mouth, too.
6. Take a dietary supplement: Vitamin C, Vitamin D, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B are effective at helping your body eliminate excess mucus and toxins naturally.
7. Brush your teeth occasionally with baking soda: The bacteria that cause bad breath thrive in an acidic oral environment. Brushing your teeth with baking soda helps neutralize excess acids found in the oral cavity.
8. Use a tongue scraper: Bacteria lodge in the grooves in your tongue, which are deeper in the back of your tongue. The tongue scraper can brush your tongue clean of excess bacteria better than simply brushing your tongue.
Bad breath or mouth odour does not just affect you, it affects everyone around you and it can really damage your self esteem. so, work on it!