Dealing with bad breath
Posted Thursday, May 31 2012 at 17:49
Bad breath is often the source of many jokes but for those living with it, it can be a source of social isolation, relationship problems and even suicide.
In Kenya, it is one of the most common medical issues that does not get to reach the doctor. Most people do not consider it serious enough to visit the hospital for a check up.
Interestingly, the reason why it is difficult for people with bad breath to know it is because the cells of the nose become unresponsive to the bad odour if they are constantly exposed to it (the same way you cannot smell your own perfume or cologne a few hours after applying it yet other people can).
A simple way to check if you have bad breath is to lick the back of your hand, let it dry then smell it.
1. Morning breath
Bacteria and reduced saliva flow at night usually leads to bad breath in the morning. It is usually worse for people who sleep with their mouth open.
Common culprits include garlic, onion, exotic spices, curry, certain cheeses and some types of fish.
3. Oral hygiene
Most of us brush our teeth daily. However, most do not brush our tongues or clean between our teeth with dental floss. If your tongue has a whitish coating on it, you are not cleaning your mouth properly.
4. Dental issues
Tooth decay and gum disease are leading causes of bad breath. In particular, gum disease usually causes bad breath with an associated bad taste in the mouth. Poorly fitting and poorly cleaned dentures and braces can also cause bad breath.
5. Dry mouth
Good flow of saliva is crucial for fresh breath. A dry mouth usually results in unpleasant mouth odours. This is common in people who breathe with their mouths open and with use of certain medications.