Bad breath causes and remedies

bad breath remedies

Health tips | 31 Mar 2020

I would start off with a joke about bad breath but they tend to really stink!

There are many causes of bad breath. Poor oral hygiene is usually the number one reason for bad breath but there are other factors. So if you are very vigilant with your dental routine but still have bad breath then this blog might be able to help you. 

WHY DO I HAVE BAD BREATH? 

Let’s start off with WHY you have bad breath, so you know what to stop doing!

Food: Food is one of the primary sources of bad odours coming from the mouth. Certain foods such as garlic and onions take the cake for most popular foods to make your breath smell. So avoid them on date night.
Here’s a few more that you might want to avoid: spicy foods, exotic spices (eg. curry), fish, coffee and certain cheese. You don’t have to avoid these all together though, a lot of the time the odour that comes from these foods is short lived. However, If you get food stuck in your teeth, that is a different story, especially if you have braces!

When food gets stuck and isn’t removed properly by brushing or flossing, it promotes the growth of bacteria and dental plaques (I know, sounds disgusting) so just keep up the dental routine guys (that includes flossing)!

Crash diets: Low carb diets may also cause bad breath. It’s actually quite well known as ‘ketone breathe’. These diets specifically, cause the body to burn fat as its energy source, an unfortunate consequence of this is bad breath.

Smoking/ tobacco products: You’re probably sick of hearing how much smoking ruins your health. It is so easy for people to ignore because you can’t see the damage happening inside your body. However, bad breath is a completely different story. I can smell you, she can smell you… even the guy across the room can too! Smoking and chewing tobacco can leave chemicals that remain in the mouth which creates the bad odour.

Smoking is the number one cause of bad breath as well as tooth decay and gum disease (might as well just throw those two in there). It’s obviously really bad for your overall health as well as your oral health. So, if you’re thinking of taking up smoking, just don’t. If you’re considering quitting, you probably should. People working in close proximity with you will thank both you and me for it. 

Braces: If you have braces and bad breath it is very likely that it is caused by food getting stuck in them. See your orthodontist for an adjustment or extra help with how to clean them properly. 

Morning breath: Bad breath in the morning is very common. This is because saliva production decreases a lot during sleep, allowing bacteria to grow, causing bad breath. 

Pregnancy: Don’t worry, being pregnant in itself does not cause bad breath. The nausea and morning sickness that are common during pregnancy is what could cause bad breath. Unfortunately other factors of pregnancy such as hormone changes, dehydration and the consumption of foods you wouldn’t usually eat may also cause bad breath. The good thing is most of these can all be treated by just following up with your proper dental routine. 

Bad breath in babies: (or young children) may be a sign of infection or an undiagnosed medical problem. Be sure to consult the child’s pediatrician or dentist if your infant or young child has consistent bad breath. Only do this if the issue is not fixed with a proper oral hygiene routine. 

Other causes: Objects stuck in the nose (this one usually applies to children but we don’t judge), alcoholism, and weirdly enough, large doses of vitamin supplements could also be a cause of bad breath.

Now we know why you may have bad breath, lets’s discuss how to fix it.

How to treat bad breath yourself at home 

  • Gently brush your teeth and gums at least twice a day for two minutes! Don’t just do this as a remedy. Get into the routine of brushing daily so you don’t have to come to this blog again.
  • Use fluoride toothpaste, some of those flavours actually taste pretty good too!
  • Gently clean your tongue once a day using a tongue scraper or special cleaner for your tongue. Some toothbrushes have little bristles on the back of the brush specifically designed for your tongue. 
  • Get regular dental checkups. These check ups often include advice about the best ways to keep up with your oral hygiene and a good clean from your dentists. Overall, the healthier you keep your mouth, the less chance you will have of your breath smelling bad/disgusting. 
  • Often strong smelling foods are the issue, so use sugar-free mints or chewing gum after having those kinds of foods and drinks. Be sure to make sure it’s the sugar free stuff, or bad breath won’t be the only dental problem you’ll have!
  • Antibacterial mouthwash and toothpaste will help, try using them as a quick fix

DO NOT

  • Do not smoke
  • Do not rinse your mouth with water straight after brushing your teeth

    Many people do this without realising that doing this means that you are washing away all the benefits of your fluoride toothpaste
  • Do not over brush or brush your gums and teeth so hard that they bleed. Not brushing enough is a problem for your oral health but brushing too much or too hard could create other issues for you. So stick to a routine that consists of brushing your teeth at least twice a day. 

If proper oral hygiene does not get rid of bad breath then should go see a dentist especially if the bad breath ie accompanied by these symptoms: 

  • Bad breath that does not go away after treat it yourself for a few weeks
  • Pain! Or have any difficulty chewing or swallowing.  If you have painful teeth or swollen, bleeding gums definitely see your dentist
  • Toothache, broken teeth or a wobbly adult tooth
  • Persistent dry mouth 
  • Sores in the mouth 
  • Fever or fatigue
  • Problems with your invisalign, dentures or wisdom teeth 

You should also see a doctor/ dentist if bad breath develops after taking new medication, after recent dental surgery or any other symptoms that you may have developed that are of concern to you.