The festive season is just around the corner and if you suffer from bad breath you may be working out how you can conceal it when with family and friends at celebratory events. Did you know there is a relationship between bad breath and your teeth?

If you have good teeth cleaning habits you can help to mask the smell of bad breath. Even using chewing gum can make your breath fresher sufficiently. However, these are only short term solutions to an annoying problem. What’s far more important is finding and treating the cause.

Most cases of bad breath, also called halitosis, are due to poor dental hygiene. That means not brushing and flossing the teeth following a meal, so food is left to decay eventually leading to smelly breath. Also, a poorly cleaned mouth encourages the presence and growth of bacteria that encourages gum disease, causing the breath to smell unpleasant.

There are some sorts of food and drink that encourage bad breath which include:

  • onions
  • garlic
  • orange juice
  • cheese
  • soft drinks of all types.

Once these foods have gone through the digestive process their oils get into the bloodstream, which then finds their way to the lungs. When you breathe out an odor is emitted, caused by the presence of these kinds of food and drink.

Bad breath has other causes too

If your mouth is particularly dry due to insufficient saliva production it will have temporarily lost its natural cleansing ability, so dead cells may accumulate which causes a smelly breath in the morning. Smoking and some types of medications may also cause a dry mouth. If your salivary glands aren’t functioning well your mouth will experience an uncomfortable dryness.

A lung infection can cause bad breath, as well as cancer, liver or kidney failure, gastro-oesophageal reflux disease and diabetes.

Respiratory, throat, mouth and nose conditions are commonly linked to bad breath. This includes a discharge that occurs as a result of a sinus infection. Even upper respiratory infections like bronchitis can cause bad breath or halitosis.

Tobacco products and, in particular, smoking may dry out your mouth, causing bad breath.

Malnutrition, or even starvation, following intensive dieting, may cause bad breath. This is called ketoacidosis. ketoacidosis is the breaking down of chemicals that are present throughout a strict diet.

How to eliminate bad breath

  • Avoid those foods and drinks that are known to cause bad breath.
  • Brush your teeth for 2 to 3 minutes after all meals.
  • Floss your teeth at least once a day.
  • Brush on top of and underneath your tongue to remove dead cells and any bacteria.
  • Drink plenty of water which helps to retain moisture in your mouth and rinses out any lingering debris or bacteria.
  • Reduce your meat intake and substitute it with more fruit and vegetables.
  • Chew some chewing gum helps to stimulate the production of saliva which washes out food debris and bacteria.

Seeing your dentist at least two times annually for a thorough check-up and clean is the best way to solve your bad breath.