Battle bad breath

Bad breath at any time of the year is a problem, but on the 14 February it could spell a Valentine’s Day disaster. So to help you on your way to a healthy, happy mouth and fresh breath, here are some of the causes and, most importantly, solutions for bad breath.

Bad breath cause #1: Dehydration

Dehydration is quite often the culprit of bad breath. When we’re dehydrated we produce less saliva, so our mouths become less effective at washing away food particles and bacteria. The bacteria are then left to feast on left over morsels of food, which cause them to release the unpleasant gases that create bad breath. The same thing happens during the night, when your saliva production slows down, resulting in ‘morning breath’.

The solution

Stay hydrated! Drink lots of water and avoid dehydrating drinks such as coffee and alcohol. Chewing sugarless gum can also help to stimulate saliva if you want to be extra sure that your breath is date-ready.

Bad breath cause #2: Poor oral hygiene

Another common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. Again bacteria are to blame and if you’re not brushing your teeth and gums regularly or thoroughly enough it will thrive. And it’s not just halitosis that you should be worrying about if your oral hygiene isn’t up to scratch; you’ll also be at risk of decay and gum disease. Not great considering a Match.com survey showed that women pay the most attention to a man’s smile when sizing up their date.

Poor oral hygiene can cause bad breathThe solution

Brush your teeth twice a day, floss daily – and don’t forget to clean your tongue. You can also keep your oral hygiene in peak condition by attending regular dental health checks and hygienist appointments.

Bad breath cause #3: Skipping meals

While certain foods are often blamed for bad breath, skipping meals can be just as bad. This is thanks to a process called ketosis which creates a byproduct called acetone. If this sounds familiar it might be because it’s the main ingredient of nail varnish remover, and unsurprisingly this is what it can smell like on your breath. A high-protein low-carbohydrate diet can also have the same effect.

The solution

Enjoy regular meals and a balanced diet. The Atkins diet and dating are definitely not a match made in heaven.

Bad breath cause #4: Your diet

sugar-bad-breathWe couldn’t talk about bad breath without mentioning garlic and onions. Both of these foods contain sulphuric compounds, which are absorbed by your blood and then excreted through your pores AND your breath. So even if you defiantly brush your teeth, your breath could still continue to smell less than fresh. A high-sugar diet can also exacerbate halitosis by feeding the bacteria in your mouth.

The solution

Cut down on sugar, and perhaps give garlic and onion a miss in the run up to date night.

Bad breath cause #5: Smoking

The smell of stale smoke on someone’s breath does not make for a romantic evening. More importantly, smoking can also stain your teeth and increase your risk of oral cancer.

The solution

Stop smoking = better oral hygiene and more money to spend on your Valentine!

Bad breath cause #6: An infection or disease

There are a number of infections and diseases, such as tonsillitis and sinus infections that can also result in unpleasant breath. Some medications can also make the problem worse by causing a dry mouth, which as we know creates a build up of bacteria and unpleasant gases.

The solution

If you are suffering from persistently bad breath with no other symptoms, make an appointment to see your dentist. If you have other symptoms or the cause isn’t related to your dental health you should seek advice from your GP.

We hope you’ve found this information helpful. Just remember, it’s not good enough to simply mask your breath with mouth wash or chewing gum. Find out the cause and nip it in the bud so halitosis doesn’t hamper your plans for 14 February.