Different from morning breath, bad breath (commonly called “halitosis” and scientifically called “oral malodor”) is characterized by having a noticeable and unpleasant odor emanating from the mouth. This odor is most often related to periodontal disease or the accumulation of bacteria and food debris in the oral cavity.
Who Has Bad Breath?
Anywhere from 8%-50% of the adult population in developed countries self-reports having either persistent or recurrent episodes of halitosis. Though some small percentage of self-reported cases are considered “imaginary halitosis” because the only person who notices the smell is the patient themself, the majority of self-reports are accurate; approximately one in four people regularly has bad breath.
Despite its (perceived) prevalence, few Canadians ever seek professional treatment for halitosis, whether at a dental office in Vancouver or at another medical office. This is not surprising, given that about one-third of BC residents do not have a regular dentist and many residents express a significant preference for only seeking dental care for emergencies.
The Secret To Fixing Bad Breath Yourself
Most people would much rather fix their bad breath from home than have to any dental office in their local area. To be successful in this endeavor, it is important to target the main cause of halitosis the same way a dentist would.
In most cases (80%-90%), halitosis originates in the mouth rather than resulting from more systemic health conditions, like kidney disease or acid reflux. In these cases, the most common root causes of oral-originating halitosis are (1) failure to fully and effectively remove the bacterial coating on the tongue and (2) periodontal disease, including tooth decay and gum disease.
It follows, then, that the most widely applicable and most effective remedies for this type of halitosis involve making specific changes to daily dental hygiene practices.
Tricks For Fixing Bad Breath
- If Your Bad Breath Comes From A Persistent Tongue Coating: Perhaps the easiest-to-identify cause of halitosis, a persistent tongue coating will feel slimy, thick, or sticky, and can be removed by brushing with a toothbrush, scraping with a tongue-scraper, and/or using a high-quality oral mouth rinse.
- If Your Bad Breath Comes From Food Debris & Plaque Between The Teeth: One key sign your bad breath is coming from food debris and plaque is if it smells faintly fecal, In this case, flossing and brushing more frequently, especially after meals, can effectively fix your bad breath from home.
- If Your Bad Breath Comes From Debris Trapped In Your Tonsils: Tonsils are naturally full of large pores that can trap plaque and food matter. Left untreated, these materials can solidify into tonsil stones that not only smell, but will require professional removal at a qualified dental office. Gargling with salt water and staying hydrated, as well as improved brushing practices, can cure tonsil-related halitosis before it becomes unmanageable at home.
- If Your Bad Breath Comes From Gum Disease: Sometimes, mild gum disease can be cured at home by using saltwater rinses and other effective oral rinses. Other moderately effective at-home treatments may include applying turmeric gel to the affected gums, or practicing “oil pulling” (which involves swishing coconut oil around in the mouth for 30 minutes a day). That said, gum disease can be especially challenging to manage from home.
- If Your Bad Breath Comes From Tooth Decay: In its early stages, tooth decay can be reversed by making significant healthy changes to your dental hygiene practices. This can involve changing how and how often you brush your teeth, what oral cleaning products you use, and even what foods you eat most regularly. Additionally, given that green tea extract has some significant effect on reducing one of the primary strains of bacteria involved in tooth decay (and associated with halitosis), rinsing with green tea extract may help reduce bad breath stemming from tooth decay.
What Not To Do: Don’t Ignore Persistent Halitosis
In some cases, the most effective treatment for persistent bad breath will be to work with a qualified dental office in Vancouver like Smile Well Dental. That way, a qualified dentist and/or dental hygienist can provide specific recommendations and even prescription treatments to cure halitosis and prevent its recurrence.
Contact Us today at 778-340-2897.