Many people experience bad breath but are unaware of it. However, this problem is common and can lead to awkward situations and feelings of shame. Find out here what causes bad smelling breath and how you can get rid of it with 4 tips.
Taboo subject bad breath
As a rule, those affected do not notice the problem themselves: it is usually other people who notice the smell. For most of them, this bad odor from the mouth (technical term: halitosis, foetor ex ore) is very unpleasant and is considered a taboo subject. It is important to make others aware of the problem in a friendly manner, as it can have serious causes and consequences.
Bad breath: the most common causes
Inadequate oral hygiene
One of the most common causes is poor oral hygiene. Make sure you brush your teeth, floss and use a mouthwash regularly . There are tooth surfaces that cannot be reached with regular dental care. Bacterial deposits can build up there over time. Therefore, in addition to daily dental care, it is important that you regularly have a professional teeth cleaning (PZR) carried out.
Tooth decay can lead to bad breath
Bacteria in plaque damage the tooth enamel and invade the tooth. There they are no longer accessible for the toothbrush and can dissolve the tooth substance unhindered. Metabolic products of the bacteria and also food residues that are in this defect make themselves noticeable as foul-smelling breath.
Inflammation of the gums
Inflammation of the gums is also associated with bacterial colonization . Often there is also an excessive amount of plaque on the tooth surfaces. This later leads to an unpleasant odor.
Chronic periodontal disease
Inflammation of the gums can develop into chronic periodontal disease . The gums become diseased and the jawbone continues to degrade. Deep tooth pockets are created that contain plaque and bacteria. This also results in halitosis.
Halitosis can also result from the coating on the tongue. Bacteria feel comfortable there and their metabolic products (e.g. volatile sulfur compounds) smell very unpleasant.
The gastrointestinal tract can also be to blame: chronic gastritis, reflux or a so-called Zenker’s diverticulum (protrusion of the throat) also cause bad smells.
Diseases of the nasopharynx can also cause bad air to breathe (an ENT doctor can help in this case).
In some cases, halitosis can be an important indicator of serious illnesses: diabetic coma, kidney and liver failure are considered life-threatening.
Furthermore, stress is a risk factor for the bad smell: Psychological stress weakens our immune system and often causes a nervous stomach. In addition, hormones are released that reduce the flow of saliva. Dental plaque and food residues are more difficult to remove due to the dry mouth and tooth decay can also develop more easily.
There are certain medications such as iron supplements, sleeping pills, medications for heart disease, and allergies that can cause bad breath.
Another factor is the bad air you breathe right after you get up. A dry mouth removes plaque and bacteria less easily.
4 tips to combat bad breath
In addition to good oral hygiene, there are additional measures that support dental care and especially help with bad breath.
Tip 1: First aid with tongue scrapers, tongue brushes, etc.
They help gently remove deposits that have settled on your tongue and smell unpleasant. It is very easy to use: you brush the back of your tongue with the scraper. There are also special tongue brushes and tongue pastes that can be used as a supplement.
Additional tip: You should clean products for tongue cleaning regularly, otherwise bacteria will collect on the surface.
Tip 2: Continuous salivation against bad breath
The flow of saliva plays a central role in combating bad breath. It serves to neutralize the oral cavity, has an antibacterial effect and ensures that the mucous membranes do not dry out.
Citrus fruits, vegetables and foods rich in fiber lead to increased saliva production. Chewing sugar-free chewing gum and drinking enough water are also helpful tips for getting enough saliva.
Tip 3: Avoid certain foods
There are numerous foods that cause bad breath :
- certain types of cheese
On the other hand, aromatic herbs and spices (e.g. thyme, mint and parsley), chewing ginger and eating acidic foods (e.g. apples and lemons) ensure fresh breath.
Tip 4: mouthwash and chewable tablets against bad breath
There are now some products that can counteract bad breath with certain additives. For example, there are chew drops with chlorophyll (green leaves of the plant) or mouthwashes with zinc compounds that neutralize odor-causing compounds in the mouth. However, the effect is limited in time, which is why regular use is necessary to get rid of the odor.
Professional advice on bad breath
If you suffer from bad breath and your everyday life is massively affected by this problem, it makes sense to take professional advice and consult a doctor. This is especially true if the problem occurs unexpectedly or other side effects such as headache and body aches or coughing and breathing difficulties arise. Your doctor can use a gas analysis of the air you breathe and measuring devices to determine whether you have halitosis and what the possible causes are.