With the increase in temperatures in spring and summer, the conditions are right for bad breath to run rampant. To avoid this, just follow some simple nutrition and hydration tips. Some habits typical of the hottest seasons can cause bad breath or worsen halitosis in those who already suffer from it. The unpleasant odor coming from the mouth has a clear impact on the quality of life, especially during the summer, when social relations intensify.
Bad breath tends to be more frequent in summer due to greater dehydration of the oral mucosa. It is also favored by the increase in the hours spent away from home and the relaxation in hygiene habits.
Saliva is key to keeping the oral cavity hydrated, and the bacteria that cause this bad smell increase when we have a dry mouth
Seven tips for a fresh mouth in summer
Following a few simple measures related to hydration and hygiene habits is the best formula to combat bad summer mouth odours.
- Drink between 1 liter and a half and 2 liters of water a day.
- Limit alcoholic beverages as much as possible, as they contribute to dehydration and, therefore, to bad breath. Coffee also dehydrates.
- Eat fresh and easily digestible foods -such as fruits, vegetables and yogurt- and avoid those that most favor halitosis, such as onions, garlic or tuna.
- Avoid high-protein diets and foods rich in fat.
- Brush your teeth (not forgetting the intraoral mucosa and the tongue) after each meal and use a mouthwash and dental floss.
- In case of dry mouth, occasional use of sugar-free chewing gum or sweets can temporarily help maintain salivation.
- Avoid breathing through the mouth.
Solutions according to the cause of halitosis
If hydration and hygiene measures are not enough to put an end to bad breath, it is most likely due to a disease that needs to be properly diagnosed and treated.
Halitosis due to oral pathology
Among the many possible causes of halitosis, oral pathology is the most frequent. Its appearance is related to the decomposition of food particles, cells, blood and some components of saliva. In addition, in the vast majority of cases, germs from the oral cavity are involved. “Halitosis is mainly caused by the increased presence of anaerobic bacteria in the oral cavity, due to poor oral hygiene”.
“Oral cause halitosis is closely related to gum problems.” Therefore, in addition to maintaining proper hydration, it is essential that the gums are healthy.
In the presence of halitosis despite following the cleaning, hydration and feeding guidelines, “one of the causes that must be ruled out will be the presence of periodontal disorders”
In cases of halitosis of oral origin, professional cleaning together with instruction in oral hygiene techniques that include tongue cleaning and the use of mouthwashes and specific pastes will always be the first therapeutic step. From there, the dentist will apply the specific treatment for the specific problem that is causing the bad smell: caries, periodontitis, bacterial plaque coating on the back of the tongue…
Digestive disorders have a direct impact on halitosis. “Problems such as poor digestion, an inflamed intestine, constipation or bacteria such as Helicobacter pylori can cause foul-smelling gases that are expelled through the mouth”
Halitosis can also be secondary to other diseases, such as respiratory infections, diabetes, or liver and kidney problems.
On the other hand, there are many treatments and medications aimed at various diseases that dry out the mouth and thus promote bad breath.
In cases where halitosis has an origin outside the oral cavity, hygiene and hydration measures are equally important. In addition, it will be necessary to treat the primary cause.
People more likely to have bad breath
Older people are usually more prone to this problem. “This is because, as the years go by, the salivary glands undergo changes that can affect the quality of saliva and decrease its production”. This encourages the growth of odor-causing bacteria.
They also have a greater tendency to halitosis who wear appliances in the mouth (dental prostheses), in which food remains can accumulate. For this reason, they need to pay more attention to oral hygiene.
Smokers cannot be left out of the list of people with a greater tendency to suffer from halitosis. In these cases, the bad smell is not only due to cigarette smoke, but also because the bacterial flora of the oral mucosa is altered and less saliva is produced.
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