By Dr. Anupreet Kaur Choudhury, Dentistry
Bad breath or halitosis is a common and embarrassing health condition that affects approximately 30% of the world’s population. Bad breath is usually caused by dryness in your mouth, foods such as onion and garlic, and poor dental hygiene.
A few ways in which you can prevent bad breath are as follows:
1. Consumption of foods rich in fiber prevents bad breath. One should avoid consuming heavily processed food such as cookies, sweets, cakes etc. Try to avoid foods which are loaded with refined carbohydrates.
2. Dental hygiene is very important to avoid bad breath. One must brush and floss several times a day to remove the plaque that forms on your teeth and collects bacteria. Using a mouthwash gives extra protection from bacteria and therefore, halitosis. You should also scrape your tongue several times to remove the coating hosting smelly bacteria.
3. Another way to prevent bad breath is by quitting or limiting the consumption of cigarettes or tobacco. Not only do they harm your lungs but also make your mouth dry and create a lingering unpleasant smell.
4. It is very important that one drinks sufficient amount of water i.e. approximately 6-8 glasses in a day, so as to keep the mouth lubricated and thus odorless. Dry mouth is one of the main reasons for halitosis.
5. Unless it is medically necessary, you should avoid medications such as anti-depressants, pain killers, diuretics and antihistamines. These drying medications reduce your saliva flow; thus making your mouth smell.
6. Snoring or sleep apnea just might be the cause of halitosis in a few people. One should keep a check of it. Studies show that people who breathe through their nose instead of their mouth have less chances of halitosis.
7. Green tea and black tea are very important agents in reducing oral bacteria and subsequent bad breath. This is because they contain a component known as “polyphenols” that eliminate sulfur compounds.
8. Lastly, you should avoid using products which contain alcohol or sodium lauryl sulfate. Both these ingredients make the mouth extremely dry and increase its odor.