Bad breath is by far one of the most embarrassing things that can happen to a person. Knowing that millions of other people suffer from this same problem does not help much, especially not in the situations when foul smell from the mouth causes problems in everyday interactions with other people.
Understanding the causes of bad breath and preventing them is the best way to get rid of this frustrating problem.
Causes of bad breath
There are many possible causes of bad breath. For some people the reason is quite simple and it comes from something they ate. Everybody knows that onions and garlic cause specific unpleasant smell in the mouth. The same goes for people who drink too much coffee or alcohol.
In many cases bad breath is a result of inadequate dental hygiene. The food particles in the mouth serve as food for the bacteria and their byproducts emanate the unpleasant smell.
In addition to food particles, the bacteria also feed on the dead skin cells, which are particularly present in the mouths of people who do not drink plenty of fluids and often suffer from dehydration.
Bad breath is often observed in people who suffer from certain diseases, especially those affecting the gastrointestinal tract, and it can be a side effect of some of the medications.
How to prevent bad breath
Whatever the cause of bad breath, good dental hygiene is the key for solving the problem. This does not just mean brushing the teeth regularly, with a good toothpaste and a high-quality toothbrush. Flossing is just as important as brushing, and yet many people neglect it. There are spaces between the teeth where the brush cannot reach, and the only way to remove the food particles and bacteria debris from there is to floss regularly, especially before bedtime.
Many toothbrushes today come with tongue scrapers. These are particularly useful as they remove the layers of dead skin cells and bacteria from the tongue, which often form a white coat emanating foul smell.
Commercial mouthwashes are useful for masking the bad breath but unless they come with a good antibacterial agent, their effect is only temporary.
Drinking plenty of fluids is very important for preventing bad breath. Water flushes the bacteria and the remains of the food from the mouth and prevents excessive shedding of dead skin cells.
The toothbrush should be changed every three months, because it can serve as a breeding environment for the bacteria. After brushing and flossing, it is very important to rinse well, with strong squishing motions.