Would you like some gum? Its a question we've all heard. Someone pulls out a pack of chewing gum, takes one, and then offers you one. Would I like some gum? Not particularly, but do I need some? Its an armed question, which once posed leads to more questions. Someone could just politely be offering a piece of gum but quite often, especially amongst us Brits, is a suggestion as subtle as a cloud of knives. Always take the gum. Even if you think your breath is fine, its still polite to. However, the chances are a loved one is trying to protect your feelings. They're offering you the quickest fix on how to get fresh breath. So why is bad breath such a taboo subject? In fact, having bad breath is frowned upon just as much as passing wind and burping. It's viewed by many as unhygienic. But what are the most common causes of bad breath? And what's the best way to avoid this social faux pas?
1. Poor Oral Hygiene
It'll probably come as no surprise that our number one cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. Failing to brush your teeth enough or correctly causes bacteria to build up on and between teeth. Bacteria also sticks to gums and your tongue and causes horrible smelling gases. It is essential to clean your tongue also as bacteria can live on the surface of the tongue. Its important to regularly see your dental team to fix any problems and a scrape and polish can go a long in way in aiding the fight against bad breath.
2. Morning Bad Breath
It doesn't matter how dedicated you are to your brushing and flossing, most of us still wake up with a bad taste in our mouth in the mornings. This is because the mouth gets dry during the night and saliva production significantly decreases. Saliva is crucial for getting rid of food particles stuck in the teeth and mouth. Without this saliva, food particles linger and collect bacteria. A dry mouth is the perfect home for bacteria where it can grow, and the sulphur compounds it produces cause the bad smell we commonly identify as morning breath. Dehydration and certain medications can also lead to a dry mouth and cause the same odour.
3. Food and Drink
Sometimes, you can tell what someone has been eating or drinking just by getting a whiff of their breath. Classic culprits include garlic, onions and alcohol. Chemicals in food and drink rummage their way to the bloodstream and we then breath them out through the lungs. Of course, bad breath from eating these foods are only temporary, even if food can repeat us on from time to time! The best type of way to prevent this kind of bad breath is to simply not eat smelly foods. Or eat alone!
This one will come as no surprise. Cigarette smoke lingers on clothes and the skin, so its often easy to differentiate between a smoker and a non-smoker. If the smell of cigarettes isn't recognised by odours left on the skin, hair and clothes, it soon will be when a smoker speaks. The problem with cigarette smoke is that even brushing and using mouthwash can't immediately hide the odour. You will still be able to smell smoke as it stays on the breath for hours. Cigarettes leave smoke particles in the throat and lungs, and as smoke can linger in the lungs for hours, a smoker is left with a stale scent. On top of that, smoking can also cause gum disease, which in turn wreaks havoc with your breath.
Top Tips For Curing Bad Breath
1. Teeth Brushing and Flossing
Maintaining good oral hygiene is the best way to get fresh breath. Using a toothpaste containing fluoride and a soft toothbrush, spend at least two minutes brushing, paying particular attention to hard to reach parts of the mouth. The best time to brush your teeth is before eating or a couple hours after in order to avoid decay. Brushing will help remove food particles and leave you with a minty fresh taste. Flossing between the teeth is essential in order to remove food particles in areas that a toothbrush cant reach.
2. Mouthwash and Chewing Gum
Mouthwash is another way to get fresh breath. It should never solely be relied on, but should complement brushing and flossing. Chemicals in mouthwash can kill germs and bacteria and leave you with a fresh minty taste. However, we recommend you speaking with your dentist about available mouthwashes to find out which could be most beneficial for you. Sugar free chewing gum is also highly recommended by dentists.Chewing gum increases saliva flow, helping to wash away any remaining food particles. Chewing gum also offers a refreshing taste - a quick way to get fresh breath.
3. Change of Lifestyle
Cut back on sugary and acidic drinks which can damage teeth and lead to tooth decay and gum disease. Smokers should try and quit smoking to avoid developing gum disease, to remove offensive odours that linger and to get fresh breath.
4. See Your Dentist Regularly
See your dentist at least once a year. Your dentist will able to detect problems with your teeth such as cavities, plaque and gum disease. Although prevention is better than treatment, your dentist will identify issues and do his or her best to fix them and educate on better oral hygiene.
How can I tell if I have bad breath? How can I get fresh breath?
If you feel you may have bad breath, or loved ones and friends are constantly telling you that you do, we recommend booking an appointment immediately with your dentist. The chances are, there are underlying dental problems that need fixing. At Bamboo Dental, we have a Fresh Breath Clinic, offering professional oral care for bad breath. We understand bad breath can make you self-conscious, which is why Dr. Dan and his team of hygienists aim to alleviate your symptoms of bad breath. If you feel you can benefit from fresher breath, give us a call on 02920 569769, or contact us on contact form here.