Posted On Dec 23, 2019

Department of

Manipal Hospitals

Few things can match the humiliation and that results from a bad breath. Known in medical parlance as Halitosis, the foul odour can be a result of a variety of factors: oral cavities, poor oral hygiene, bacteria on the tongue or between the gums and the teeth etc. What makes it worse is people often don’t consume enough water to flush out the bacteria feeding on remnants of off in the mouth. Dry mouth is a major reason for bad breath, as saliva is a natural anti-microbial agent. Other contributing factors include malnutrition, as breakdown of fat in the body results in a fruity odour, infections such as sinusitis, intestinal disorders like heartburn, ulcers and also consumption of foods like garlic, onion and alcohol can also temporarily cause bad breath.

Here are 7 ways to fight bad odour and get a minty fresh smell:

1. Brush and floss twice a day: This is the most basic habit you can follow to eliminate bad breath. Brushing can remove the food particles and germs hiding in the nooks and crannies of our mouths. Flossing can keep the gap between the teeth clean.

2. Rinsing: Rinsing your mouth with an alcohol-based mouthwash can make it difficult for the bacteria to survive in the mouth.

3. Scraping the tongue: Our tongue is an excellent receptacle for germs and bacteria feeding on the remnants of food. These form a layer on the tongue and results in an ugly appearance as well as foul smell. After brushing, gently scrape your tongue with your brush or a scraper. This will also help removing the dead cells and food debris that brushing cannot get rid of.

4. Avoid smelly foods: Food items like onion and garlic are notorious for the bad breath which they impart after eating them. What’s worse, brushing after consuming such
foodstuffs do not help. This is because the compounds present in them make their way
to our lungs through the bloodstream, and result in a foul odour when we exhale. Try to
avoid such items, or at least avoid eating them before meeting people and going out.

5. Avoid smoking: The tobacco I the cigarette contributes to dry mouth and can worsen
the bad smells and odours emanating from the mouth.

6. Drink plenty of water: Keeping our tongue and mouth hydrated can help in flushing out bacteria, and cool water can help keep the breath fresh.

7. Eat more fiber: Eating fibrous fruits and vegetables like apples and carrots can  stimulate the production of saliva in the mouth, and also prevent bad breath caused due to hunger and fasting.

8. Keep your dentures clean: If you wear dentures, remove them at night and clean them  thoroughly to remove the food and germs buildup on them.

9. Visit your dentist: Even after following all the above measures, you should still get  your oral check-up done twice a year. This can be a solution for chronic bad breath, and  can also help detect dental and other infections before they worsen.

Oral hygiene can be easily maintained by some simple lifestyle habits. Besides, poor oral health can result in other infections in other parts of the body. So, practice the above tips and be minty fresh the next time you step outside the door!

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