There is not a single person alive who has not suffered from bad breath at least once in their lives.
Whether it’s right after you wake up or after you have eaten something like garlic, all of us have been told that our breath does not smell nice.
Now if this happens in a social situation, it can become very awkward for you. You may not have access to a toothpaste or mouthwash every time you want to get rid of bad breath.
You should know some quick and easy ways, such as sugar-free mints, breath sprays, etc., by which you can avoid bad breath on the go.
In this article, we will tell you how to avoid those embarrassing situations and keep your breath minty fresh.
What is bad breath?
Bad breath is a persistent, unpleasant odor in exhaled breath, which is usually not serious. Bad breath odors vary, depending on the source or the underlying cause. (1)
Some people can develop anxiety and worry too much about their breath even though they have little or no mouth odor, while others have bad breath and don’t know it.
Causes of bad breath
There are many possible causes for bad breath:
- Eating certain foods like onions, garlic and spices can cause bad breath.
- Smoking or chewing tobacco products can give an unpleasant odor to your breath. (2)
- If you don’t brush and floss daily, food particles remain in your mouth, causing bad breath.
- Dry mouth or xerostomia can contribute to bad breath, as saliva production is decreased. Saliva helps in cleansing your mouth, removing particles that cause bad odors.
- Certain medications can indirectly contribute to bad breath by causing dry mouth. The chemical breakdown product of some drugs can enter your breath and give it an unpleasant odor. (3)
- Bad breath can be caused by surgical wounds after oral surgery or as a result of tooth decay, gum diseases or mouth sores.
- Bad breath can also stem from some mouth, nose and throat conditions like tonsil stones, chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat.
- Some diseases like cancer and metabolic disorders, like GERD, can cause a distinctive breath odor as a result of the chemicals they produce.
Quick fixes for bad breath
- Sugar-free mints are a quick way to freshen your breath before any social situations. They only mask your foul odor and not cure it.
- Drink water before an interview or meeting to get rid of dry mouth and keep your bad breath at bay.
- Chew sugar-free chewing gum to stimulate salivary flow which freshens your breath. The scent of the gum can also help to mask any underlying odors.
- Breath sprays are another quick way to freshen your breath when you are in too much of a rush to chew gum or drink a glass of water.
- You can keep a travel-sized bottle of mouthwash for last-minute emergencies. It works by killing the microorganisms that contribute to bad breath, and its minty aroma can temporarily cover up any underlying odors.
- You can munch on a sprig of parsley, as parsley has germ-fighting qualities and is a known breath deodorizer.
- You can vigorously scrape your tongue over your teeth which can dislodge any odor-causing bacteria. (4)
- You can use a spoon as a tongue scraper in an emergency to clean your tongue.
- You can bite on a clove until the essence permeates your mouth, and then spit it out. Don’t use clove oil or powdered cloves as they can cause burns.
- Chew on fennel, dill, cardamom or anise seeds which can help kill the bacteria on your tongue and also mask the odor of halitosis.
- You can suck on a stick of cinnamon which is also as an antiseptic.
Long-term solutions for bad breath
There are many solutions which can get rid of bad breath quickly and easily but it is essential that you get rid of the bad breath more permanently. Following these tips can help you get rid of bad breath and keep your mouth healthy:
- Brush your teeth twice or thrice daily to remove accumulated food debris and plaque in your mouth. You can try brushing with baking soda to reduce the acidity in your mouth.
- Floss daily, especially after meals to remove food debris stuck between your teeth.
- Use a tongue scraper to brush or scrape your tongue. This removes any residues between the taste buds and folds in the tongue. (5)
- You can add an antiseptic mouthwash to your daily oral hygiene routine. It kills most of the bacteria inside your mouth, which can contribute to bad breath. (6)
- Quit smoking and avoid tobacco products as it tends to dry out your mouth and can leave an unpleasant smell that lingers even after brushing your teeth.
Bad breath is a common problem, affecting almost half of the adult population. Your self-confidence may suffer land you may feel anxious in all social situations. The causes of bad breath are varied and can underline a systemic disease.
You can adopt some daily habits to inhibit the odor-causing bacteria in your mouth. While there are quick ways to fix your bad breath, it’s crucial to maintain proper oral hygiene to keep bad breath at bay for a long time.