While the many reasons for bad breath (halitosis) might be a cause for concern, there is good news when it comes to getting rid of it.
Assuming no medical condition is responsible, a range of proven steps can be followed to help resolve the problem.
Brush & Floss Regularly
Anyone suffering from bad breath should pay particular attention to their oral hygiene routine.
This might sound obvious, but the statistics reveal a different picture. According to our friends at National Smile Month(1) one in four adults admit that they brush their teeth less than twice a day. Even more worryingly, a similar number don’t use dental floss or interdental brushes regularly, while a third of the population has never used dental floss at all.
No matter how obvious it may sound, if you’re looking for ways to get rid of bad breath, the first step should always be to brush with a good quality toothpaste for between two and three minutes at least twice a day. Additionally, interdental brushes, floss or tape should also be used regularly to remove any food particles and bacteria that your toothpaste bristles cannot reach.
Use an Anti-Bacterial, alcohol-free Mouth Rinse
One of the most common solutions for reducing halitosis is the use of minty-fresh mouthwash(2). Be careful, however, as many popular mouthwash products contain alcohol, which can dry out the mouth which exacerbates the problem while the mint flavour merely masks the odour.
A more effective solution involves the use of alcohol-free, bad breath mouthwashes, which don’t dry the mouth. UltraDEX Daily Oral Rinse is formulated with advanced technology which instantly properties which help to eliminates the VSC on contact rather than simply masking the problem. It also inhibits the harmful bacteria within the mouth. As a result, you can experience longer-lasting fresh breath and a cleaner, healthier mouth.
Use a Tongue Scraper
While most of us brush our teeth on a daily basis, a far less-common part of the average oral care routine is the use of a tongue scraper. This is surprising, as the impact of a clean tongue on beating bad breath can be considerable.
A study published in the Journal of Periodontology(3) found that regular tongue brushing led to a 45% reduction in the release of Volatile Sulphur Compounds, while tongue scraping led to an impressive 75% reduction. In short, cleaning your tongue can be a very effective strategy in the fight against halitosis.
Avoid Pungent Foods
Try to avoid spicy or odorous foods if you’re worried about bad breath. If you find that you can’t avoid the onions or garlic, tests suggest that drinking milk or eating an apple afterwards can help to fight the compounds released. There are actually a number of foods that can help fight bad breath.
Drink More Water
A dry mouth is a common cause of bad breath, so staying hydrated can go a long way to maintaining sweet-smelling breath. Try sipping small amounts of water throughout the day to keep your mouth moist.
Giving up smoking not only improves your breath but also provides all manner of other health-related benefits. Free help is available from your doctor or directly from the NHS.
Chew Sugar-Free Gum
The action of chewing increases the flow of saliva, combatting bad breath by removing debris from the mouth. This is one reason why “hunger breath” can occur; quite simply dieters may not eat as regularly as the average population, leading to declines in saliva production.
Keeping a pack of sugar-free gum in your pocket or bag to chew after every meal can be an easy way to improve your oral health and fight halitosis, even when you’re on a calorie-controlled diet.
Use a fresh breath spray
Carrying a handy spray in your pocket or bag can be a quick and discrete way to ensure your breath stays fresh throughout the day. UltraDEX Fresh Breath Spray is free from alcohol and sugar and contains technology which actually eliminates any bad breath compounds instantly and it has anti-bacterial properties too.
Breathe Through Your Nose
If a dry mouth can be a major cause of bad breath, it follows that breathing through your nose can be beneficial in avoiding the problem. Take note when exercising to keep your mouth closed if possible, and to drink suitable volumes of water to stay hydrated.
Have a Dental Check-Up
Problems such as tartar build-up, tooth decay or mucosal ulcerations can all be major contributors to halitosis. While bad breath can still occur in the absence of dental problems, visiting your dentist to check for any obvious problems is a wise move.
After checking for, and repairing, any damage found your dentist should also be able to advise on a suitable course of action to help eliminate malodorous breath.
Visit Your Doctor
Lastly, bad breath can sometimes be a sign of a more serious underlying medical condition. If you are in any doubt at all then seek the advice of your GP, who will be able to give you a thorough health check to determine the root cause of the problem and put your mind at rest.
- (1) National Smile Month Facts and Figures. Available at: www.nationalsmilemonth.org
- (2) Carvalho, M et al. 2004. Impact if mouthrinses on morning bad breath in healthy subjects. Journal of Clinical Periodontology 31(2), pp 85-90. Available at: www.onlinelibrary.wiley.com
- (3) Pedrazzi, V et al. 2004. Tongue-cleaning methods: a comparative clinical trial employing a toothbrush and a tongue scraper. Journal of Periodontology 75(7), pp 1009-1012. Available at: www.joponline.org