Oral health is the most important prerequisite of our overall well-being and good quality of life. There is an obvious relationship between oral and general health. Bad tooth condition ranges from diseases and conditions that include dental caries, periodontal disease, tooth loss, and oral cancer.
Bad breath is the result of many conditions, which can often be detected and often it is not possible to detect them at all. Chronic acid reflux, known as gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), is a medical condition, in which acid the stomach flows back towards the oesophagus, carrying reflux of undigested food, regurgitated bile, and stomach acids into our oesophagus.
This leads to bad breath, and the acid may cause the destruction of the tooth. This condition can further cause heartburn, a bitter or sour taste in mouth. Bad breath is not essentially a disease of the mouth. It is the result of many other factors apart from mouth. It can be controlled by maintaining overall good health, proper eating habits, changing sleeping patterns, meditation, yoga etc.
Bad breath can be socially intimidating. A person having bad breath can face embarrassment in social settings or public gatherings, often without any fault of his own. Often using mouthwashes and chewing mint gums, be a temporary solution that can prevent embarrassment in a public gathering. However permanent solution can only be given by dentist or specialized doctors, who can find out the cause behind the same and treat it accordingly.
Lifestyle changes to treat bad breath from GERD.
Lifestyle changes are the most important factor in arresting the issue of bad breath. Lifestyle change can prevent reflux, which can help a lot in controlling GERD and bad breath as a result.
First, and foremost, smoking should be avoided and stopped at all costs. Smoking itself causes bad breath. Some people also have the habit of consuming tea just after smoking which only aggravates the problem, making it worse. Smoking also increases the risk of cancer of the mouth, throat, lymph glands, oesophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, and colon.
Secondly, wait for at least 2-3 hours after a meal before you sleep.
Thirdly, sleep on a small pillow placed over your base pillow to elevate your head and reduce pressure on your torso.
Fourthly, check if you are lactose intolerant. People who consume milk and are lactose intolerant, may face issues such as acid and bad breath.
Fifthly, eat smaller meals throughout the day, rather than having three larger meals. It will also help your body to better digest the food, without much pressure.
Sixthly, try to maintain a healthy weight.
Seventhly, drink plenty of water throughout the day, to flush out any toxins that might have accumulated and causing bad breath.
Lastly, chewing gum can be used as a temporary solution in freshening breath and treating acid reflux.
Foods to be avoided to control GERD.
GERD is irritation of the lungs due to acid reflux from the stomach. Eating foods rich in fibers is important to fight bad breath. Fiber eases digestion, and prevents acid and gas.
Foods containing fibers keeps you feeling full for a longer period of time and may help you maintain your weight. GERD has been directly linked to being overweight, so consult your doctor about losing weight to relieve acid reflux and heartburn. Yoga and exercises can help you reduce weight considerably over time.
Losing weight also decreases risk of a hiatal hernia, which can increase GERD symptoms. Drinking water is an excellent solution to ease stomach problems including bad breath. Water is the only beverage that almost always soothes and relieves all problems.
Certain foods are known to trigger GERD, which are best avoided for best results. Let us have a look at them:
- Tea and coffee, that contain caffeine
- Citrus fruit
- Tomato and its products
- Spicy foods
- Fried or fatty foods
- Foods containing saturated fats.
Drug therapies to treat GERD and ultimately bad breath.
Many drugs lead to dry mouth, due to decreased saliva production, such as the drugs for diabetes and high blood pressure and thyroid. Decreased saliva production in the mouth can also lead to the accumulation of bacteria in the mouth and cause bad breath. Saliva is a natural antiseptic and prevents our mouth from various diseases. It also heals mouth sores and ulcers. If bleeding happens, sucking with saliva can help in blood clotting, and stop blood from oozing out. Drugs that can effectively treat GERD are:
- Histamine Blockers.
Some chewable antacids, contain chewable breath freshening ingredients which serve both the purpose.
Dry mouth can also happen due to other underlying condition in the body, which is yet to be detected. It is best to see a doctor and immediately treat the symptoms to avoid further problems in the future.
Treatment of bad breath.
Bad breath in the mouth is often ignored and not taken very seriously. It is far from being thought of as a cause of some underlying disease. But people more conscious of themselves take it up seriously and treat it well to eliminate the problem from its roots.
In order to reduce bad breath, cavities should be avoided at all cost. Also, gum disease, contributes to bad breath, due to the accumulation of bacteria inside the gums. Consistent practice of good oral hygiene is must to prevent this problem. Treatment for bad breath can vary depending on the cause behind it. If the bad breath is thought to be caused by an underlying disease, and your dentist can detect it, he will likely refer you to your primary care provider.
For causes related to oral or dental health, your dentist can best take steps or measures:
Mouth rinses and toothpaste: If bacteria (plaque), buildup on your teeth is the reason for your bad breath, your dentist may recommend a mouth rinse that kills the bacteria. Your dentist may also recommend a toothpaste or gel that contains an antibacterial agent to kill the bacteria that causes plaque buildup, and bad breath.
Treatment of dental disease. If you have gum disease, you may be referred to a gum specialist (periodontist), by your dentist. Gum diseases can fill the gums with odour causing bacteria and pull the gums away from your teeth. They can also create deep pockets inside the gums, filled with bacteria. Sometimes, professional cleaning is the only way of removal of these bacteria. Your dentist might also recommend replacing faulty tooth restorations, which is a breeding ground for disease and odor causing bacteria.
Lifestyle and home remedies
To reduce or prevent bad breath, there are some simple home remedies that can be followed to reduce the accumulation of bacteria, balance the saliva in mouth and preventing dry mouth, reduce the acid content in the body. Let us look at few remedies to ensure good oral health:
- Brush your teeth after each meal. Rather carry a toothbrush at work to use after eating. Brushing with a toothpaste containing fluoride, at least twice a day, particularly after meals, has shown to reduce bad odors and bad breath considerably over time.
- Flossing at least once a day, in the morning, will prevent the accumulation of bacteria or plaque over the teeth, preventing bad breath.
- Brush your tongue. Your tongue is a storehouse of bacteria, so carefully brushing, your tongue everyday may reduce odors. Many people have a coated tongue from a significant overgrowth of bacteria, due to smoking or dry mouth and may benefit from using a tongue scraper, or a toothbrush having an in-built tongue cleaner.
- Clean dentures or dental appliances. If you are wearing a bridge or a denture, remember to clean it thoroughly, at least once a day or as directed by your dentist. If you are wearing a dental retainer or mouth guard, remember to clean it each time before you put it in your mouth. Your dentist can recommend the best cleaning product, for cleaning oral gadgets.
- Avoid dry mouth. Dry mouth can invite many diseases. To keep your mouth moist, avoid tobacco and drink plenty of water. Avoid coffee, soft sugary drinks or alcohol, which can aggravate the problem of a drier mouth. Chewing a gum or sucking on a candy, preferably sugar-free to stimulate saliva, can control the problem to a great extent. However, if you are facing chronic dry mouth, it is best to consult your dentist, or physician and they may recommend you with medicines with composition that help in saliva preparation or stimulates, saliva flow.
- Adjust your diet. Onions and garlic can cause bad breath, particularly when you are consuming them raw. Consuming a lot of sugary foods can also cause acid and is linked with bad breath.
- Change your toothbrush at intervals. Change your toothbrush after about every three to four months, and choose a soft-bristled toothbrush.
- Schedule regular dental checkups, with your dentist, at least twice a year. Get your tooth dentures cleaned.
It is already clear that there are numerous reasons of bad breath. Bad breath can occasionally occur from small stones that occur in the tonsils and are covered with odor-producing bacteria. Infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat, can also cause bad breath.
Bad breath can also be the result of metabolic disorder or more rarely cancer. Although in most cases bad breath is nothing to worry about, but sometimes it can signal something more dangerous such as cancer or other life threatening diseases.
It will be surprising to note that bad breath can also be induced through stress. Stress hormones such as cortisol, adrenaline and noradrenaline can increase the production of odour causing bacteria, making the breath smell bad. Your liver and kidney are responsible for flushing out toxins away from your body.
When they fail to work properly, it can be indicated through bad breath or foul smell in breath and through nose. For people with liver and kidney problems, these toxins from the body aren’t released properly. This leads to foul smell inside the body, which comes through the mouth and nose. This condition is known as halitosis.
How to detoxify our lungs to prevent bad breath?
Lungs are responsible for supplying oxygen to our bodies. But they are often inflamed with bacteria and viruses, causing diseases. When inflammation occurs, exercises and medicine can provide immediate relief. Further to make your lungs function well and detoxify itself, certain precautions are important such as yoga, breathing exercises, consuming green tea, milk with turmeric, ginger, lemon, honey.
Inhalers and nasal sprays can also help prevent infections and keep the lungs clean and healthy. However, when infections occur, it is best to consult your physician and get the symptoms and the disease treated well.
It is important to remember that lungs are self-cleaning organs and does not require external cleaning, but also external support and flow of nutrients to work properly. Once the inflammation is healed, the lungs clear up the cough and mucus by themselves.
But, if somehow you notice a brown, yellow or bloody cough, you need to immediately visit the doctor and complete the tests suggested by him. Congested lungs can also lead to bad breath, so we should always try and keep our lungs healthy, since they are vital organs of our body.
Warm water is an excellent cleanser, of both lungs and mouth. When consumed with ginger or honey, it can kill the bacteria of the throat, lungs and mouth. Consuming warm water, early in the morning can significantly bring changes to our overall health and metabolism.
The honey warm water is particularly helpful to reduce and fight the pollutants that has caused infection of the lungs. Fruits such as berries and apples are also very good that help fight bacteria in the mouth and entire body. They are rich in vitamin C, and provide our body the immunity to fight away infections. Many doctors say that consuming an apple every day after dinner, is best to ward off infections, and balance the lipid profile of our body.
Eggs are an excellent source of vitamin D, and very good for lungs. They help the lungs repair from respiratory diseases. It might be unknown to us, but eggs have anti-inflammatory properties. The vitamin D in eggs, controls the inflammatory response of the lungs. But excess egg consumption may also cause bad breath. It is important to have them in moderation to prevent bad breath and other issues like gas, acidity and bloating.
Remedies for bad breath.
Most problems come with solutions. Similarly, there are homemade as well as medicinal remedies for bad breath. These remedies or medicines needs to be taken regularly to ward off the problem of bad breath permanently and live confidently.
Bad breath leads to a lack of confidence and holds us back from conversing freely with our friends, colleagues and family members. Some people are convinced that they have bad breath and are conscious all the time about themselves. Whereas many others may smell horrible without they even realizing it. There is never a reason to worry, because we can work it out with simple efforts. Let us look at few remedies, in preventing bad breath.
- Pineapple juice: Pineapple juice is very effective for bad breath. Having a glass of pineapple juice after meal, or simply chewing a slice of pineapple is very good for bad breath. You should remember to rinse your mouth with water after having either pineapple juice or pineapple.
- Water: Water is an excellent cleanser. It can ease out most diseases and their symptoms. Consuming water and staying hydrated all day can lead to the flushing out of toxins from the body and minimize bad breath. Dry mouth can lead to bad breath. Water can reduce it considerably, and gradually we may find relief from the problem of bad breath.
- Yogurt: Yogurt is a probiotic, which contains healthy bacteria called lactobacillus. These healthy bacteria can improve your gut health and also ease your metabolism. It can considerably reduce bad breath. The probiotics present in yogurt are effective in preventing bad breath. To fight bad breath, have at least a cup of yogurt every day. Slowly, you will find your bad breath problem will decrease.
- Milk: Milk is a well-known cure to combat bad breath. Particularly after consumption of smelly foods such as raw onions and garlic, drinking a cup of milk can neutralize the bad odour, from the mouth. Practicing it on a daily basis can reduce the bad odour from mouth to a great extent.
- Fennel seeds: Fennel seeds are consumed as mouth fresheners after meals. It is also used to treat mouth odors and are also useful in treating other diseases such as liver function, metabolism, regulating blood pressure etc.
- Orange: Oranges are rich in vitamin C. They also help in combatting foul odour from mouth. Bad odour occurs because our mouth doesn’t produce enough saliva to wear away all bacteria. Oranges can considerable increase the production of saliva.
- Green tea: As already mentioned earlier, green tea contains anti-oxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties. It can keep away harmful bacteria from accumulating inside our mouth.
These are home remedies to follow to prevent or keep away bad mouth odors. However, these are not fool-proof remedies. If after observing or following the above, still the problem of bad odors persist, it is best to consult a physician and get yourself treated for any underlying problem inside the body that needs urgent attention.