Bad breath: How to treat it according to health professionals

Bad breath is something that happens to everybody but do you actually know how to prevent it or treat it? Let us show you.

This is how you can prevent your stinky breath, according to health professionals
© Under the silver lake / A24
This is how you can prevent your stinky breath, according to health professionals

Meeting someone with bad breath is uncomfortable. Being the one with bad breath is stressful. Bad breath in itself is one of the most shameful and embarrassing things. However, it shouldn’t be.

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While a bad smell is not the most pleasant, it happens and you can rest assured there are ways to prevent it and stop it. But bad breath can also be the sign of more serious conditions that cannot be ignored. So it’s time to put shame aside and really dig deep into bad breath.

We know it doesn’t sound appealing but sometimes being uncomfortable is good for us! Let’s get started!

The symptoms of bad breath

Bad breath as it is commonly known actually has a scientific name: halitosis. It is in the name, the main symptom of bad breath is well… bad breath. The main thing happening here isn’t that your breath is actually bad, it’s that there is an odour coming out of your mouth when you breathe.

The symptoms of bad breath are simple and we know them but spotting them is the tricky part. Indeed, while we can tell if others have bad breath, it is harder to tell if you, yourself, have it. Unfortunately, the only way to really know if we have bad breath is for someone else to point it out.

We know it can be embarrassing but it matters.

What causes bad breath?

According to the NHS there are factors that can cause or facilitate bad breath. In their article they mention smoking as well as eating specific foods and having an unbalanced diet. Surprisingly, spicy food makes the list of things that can cause bad breath.

In the list, they also include bigger issues such as having a medical problems with your gums like ‘gum disease.’ Gum disease is described as a disease where ‘the gums become red, swollen and sore, and bleed’. While they say that it is quite common, it is important to get it checked by a dentist.

Other medical causes include tonsilitis, acid reflux and dry mouth.

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How to treat bad breath?

According to the NHS again (we love them, they help us a lot), there are various ways to treat this problem. On their website they have composed a list of do’s and don’ts to help us navigate this problem.

Their dos include:

gently brush your teeth and gums at least twice a day for 2 minutes, use a fluoride toothpaste, gently clean your tongue once a day using a tongue scraper or cleaner, use sugar-free mints or chewing gum after having strong-smelling food and drinks, try using an antibacterial mouthwash or toothpaste

They also recommend getting regular ‘dental check ups.’

Concerning their don’ts, the NHS is quite clear. Smoking is a no-go if you want fresh breath. They also advice that you stay away from ‘sugary foods and drinks’ and that you brush gently as to not cause damage to your gums.

Finally, they also give us this advice: ‘do not rinse your mouth with water straight after brushing your teeth.’ We understand this as letting the fluoride toothpaste sit for a bit before rinsing it.

As a final piece of advice the NHS warns that you should get in touch with a doctor if your ‘bad breath that does not go away after treating it yourself for a few weeks’, if you have ‘painful or swollen gums,’ a ‘toothache or wobbly adult teeth’ and if you ‘have issues with your dentures.’

Teeth health is very important so get in touch with a professional before things get too bad.



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