From bilious breathers to onion and garlic eaters to people suffering with indigestion – all are all victims distinguished by a powerful bad breath. However, waking up every morning with sewer like dog breath is a long war that can be won if we know how to tackle the source by nipping the problem in the bud.
Don’t let your tongue become a dirty carpet
Getting rid of bad breath is a continuous battle as long as we need to eat, drink, breathe and sleep!
Awful smelling breath can turn into a major awkwardness if you’re snuggling up to your beloved and he asks you what you had for lunch.
The unpleasant reek in your mouth often strikes when people aren't properly taking care of their oral health. Experts suggest that our tongue microscopically is filled with millions of filaments that trap tiny food particles and bacteria.
Bad breath is generally due to teeth and gum related problems and in about 20 per cent of the cases the condition is not related to mouth and oral hygiene, says Indian Dental Association president Lt Gen (retd) Dr Paramjit Singh.
Here are some ways in which you can tackle bad breath:
Brushing your teeth and scraping your tongue
A clean tongue goes a long way in warding off bad breath. Brushing should be the first thing every morning, and also after every time you take a nap. Doctors advise to use a tongue scraper as a daily regimen after brushing. The key is to do it gently and to rinse your mouth thoroughly afterwards to remove dead cells, food particles and bacteria from the tongue. Foul-smelling bacteria have a chance to take over your mouth while you are sleeping which is the main cause of stinky breath.
Rinsing and flossing
It is very important that after every single meal one rinses and flosses so that the germs, bacteria, and plaque around the teeth and inside the mouth are killed.
Rinse your mouth thoroughly and gargle with fresh and cool water
After you brush your teeth and scrape your tongue, this is a very important step, one that many people may overlook. Nobody likes to smell your breath when it's laden with dirty, used toothpaste scum. Dr Binita, Professor at Santosh Dental College-Ghaziabad, says brushing teeth twice daily and gargling with salty water if you have bad breath may solve the problem.
Drinking water will help keep your mouth moist
Experts recommend that mixing half a lemon with warm water and then irrigating your mouth with the mixture will help in stimulating saliva which controls odour-causing enzymes.
Chew gum like it's going out of style
Saliva is your best weapon against bad breath as it washes away food particles and bacteria’s further eliminating bad odour. Chewing gum mechanically washes bacteria out as it makes you salivate, and the more saliva you have in your mouth the fewer bacteria you have.
On other hand, doctors suggest that mints should not be preferred to gum. This is because mints usually don't stimulate saliva production but on the contrary they temporarily mask bad odour.
Blame them for bad breathOnions and Garlic: The chemical makeup of onions and garlic is such that sulfur compounds present in them produces a peculiar kind of smell.
Milk and Cheese: Milk and cheese are rich in proteins, thus, a feeding ground to these anaerobic bacteria in your mouth.
Coffee: Coffee contains acids. Black coffee adds to the 'soups' of bacteria-filled saliva which blocks the release of gases leaving a sour metallic taste in your mouth.
Alcohol: Alcohol causes dry mouth and a dry oral environment aids in the increased production of sulfur compounds in the mouth.
Fish: Fish is rich in proteins and feeds to the bacteria converting proteins into sulfur compounds
• Chewing one clove after every meal daily will help dealing with bad breath.
• Leafy green vegetables such as spinach, broccoli and lettuces are well-known for assisting the body in maintaining fresh breath.
• Drinking pineapple juice will keep away the foul smell from the mouth.
• Try chewing fresh peppermint, spearmint, parsley, or basil.
• For cleaning ones tongue, one must gargle with baking soda dissolved in warm water.
• An apple a day can keep the bad breath away as it removes the bacteria causing bad breath.
While most bad breath can be banished with these simple hygienic steps, there are times when dental or medical conditions might be the culprit. Rockland Hospital’s maxillofacial surgeon Dr Dhirendra Shrivastav would say that even educated people lack awareness about oral hygiene. “They come to a doctor only when they have pain,” he says.
So before your condition becomes worse, make an appointment with your dentist to ward off the unsavoury odour residing in your mouth.