Medically, bad breath is called halitosis (1). It is often a sign of some other health problem and is therefore not always a result of an inadequate dental health routine. Also, body odor is not always the cause of improper hygiene, but it is often caused by factors such as medication, health, gender and diet (2).
What Is Your Breath Telling You About Your Health?
If you have a persistent bad taste in your mouth, it might be a warning of periodontal or gum disease. If gum disease is left untreated it can damage the jawbone and gums, as it is caused by a buildup of plaque (3). The toxins formed by bacteria will irritate the gums. Remember that if your gums are bleeding after you brushed your teeth, make sure to consult a healthcare practitioner.
Kidney or liver problems, chronic acid reflux, diabetes, post nasal drip, sinus infections, bronchitis and pneumonia can also cause your breath to smell foul. Mouth infections and other throat, nose and mouth conditions can be a big culprit. Surgical wounds, infected tonsils and chronic inflammation often produce quite an awful odor.
The chance is good that you might also have dry mouth. With Xerostomia or dry mouth, the production of saliva is not enough to cleanse the mouth and remove particles in your mouth that cause bad odors (4). There are also some medications that contribute to dry mouth and other medications that release chemicals that can be smelled in your breath.
Stress has also been associated with bad oral hygiene problems such as teeth grinding, dry mouth, gum disease and canker sores. Stress leads to elevated levels of cortisol, which weakens the immune system (5). Conditions are then ripe for bacteria to invade your body. Oral hygiene routines are often neglected when people are experiencing stress. They also tend to consume more sugary foods, which are not optimal for teeth health. Getting your oral hygiene back on track with natural products is easier than you might think. For example, take a look at this way for treating canker sores.
Your breath is a useful tool to tell you more about what's going on with your overall health. You might have gum disease, dry mouth, inflammation, infected tonsils or even kidney or liver problems. Stress is also a big culprit when it comes to oral hygiene problems.
What Remedies Are There For Foul Breath?
- Brush with a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day to remove plaque and debris. Remember to brush the tongue and to replace your toothbrush after you have been ill and every 3 months in general. Make use of floss at least once a day and rinse with a mouthwash (preferably antibacterial) twice a day.
- Go to the dentist once or twice a year. Your mouth can be professionally cleaned and the dentist will be able to treat and detect any issues that might be adding to your problem.
- Stop smoking! Click here for four ways to help you stop smoking.
- Drink a lot of water, chew gum or suck on candy (sugarless if possible) to keep your mouth nice and moist. Chewing gum and sucking on candy will stimulate the production of saliva and this will help to wash away bacteria and food particles. Candy and gum that contain xylitol are the best options to go for. Read more about the things you should know about Xylitol.
Make sure to have proper oral hygiene and keep your mouth moist to keep the smells at bay. Visit the dentist at least once a year, brush your teeth twice a day and make use of an antibacterial mouthwash. Keep your mouth moist by drinking lots of water and chewing gum.
What If You Also Have Serious All-Over Body Odor?
If you experience that your breath is smelly, the chance is good that you might also be a victim of other foul-smelling body odors. It might be quite embarrassing when you find out that you're the one with the smelly feet or serious body odor that makes everyone in the room cringe. Here are a few surprising causes of body odor:
You feel stressed. There are different chemical types of sweat. And the most foul-smelling sweat of all is sweat caused by stress. It is produced from sweat glands named apocrine glands (6). They produce a thicker type of sweat. Bacteria like to feed off the proteins and fats in the mix.
You Have Unlucky Feet. As our feet are often in a moist, warm, and dark environment, a perfect space is created for bacteria to be nurtured (7). Some people, however, have extra sweaty feet due to genetics. These people can nurture a very specific type of bacteria on their feet which produces terrible smelling sulfur compounds, called Micrococcus sedentarius.
You Wear The Same Bra Over And Over Again. Many women under wash and over wear their bras. As it touches a lot of sweat-prone areas, it needs to be washed more often than most women might think (8). Not doing that might result in some serious body odor.
Broccoli is one of your favorites. Some foods' smelly compounds are circulated in your bloodstream and come out through urine, sweat and breath. Broccoli and any other cruciferous veggie include sulfur compounds that make it more difficult for your gut to digest them and therefore also produce a large amount of gas and cause an eggy aroma in the stool (9).
Your musty body odor can be caused by stress, genetics, wearing the same bra over and over again or eating too much broccoli!
The Take Away On Bad Breath And Body Odor
Even though body odor and awful smelling breath can be the result of poor hygiene, it can also be the cause of many other health conditions, genes, diet or medications. Make sure to find out what's causing your smelly odors.