How to beat bad breath

Worried that you may have bad breath? You’re not alone. In fact, 75 per cent of adults admit to being concerned about bad breath. And while it’s not considered a medically serious problem on its own, it can impact sufferers’ self-confidence and cause considerable embarrassment.  Even more importantly, the presence of bad breath (also known as halitosis) can indicate more serious underlying oral hygiene problems that, if left untreated, could give you a lot more to worry about than your upcoming date.

What causes bad breath?

Bad breath is caused by a range of factors. Poor dental hygiene practices, lifestyle choices and the food you eat can all have a negative impact on your breath.  A common misconception is that bad breath comes from the stomach, but approximately 90% of bad breath actually comes from the mouth - in particular, the odour-producing bacteria that accumulate and hide deep within the porous surface of your tongue(1).

Top three bad breath culprits

Mouth-dwelling bacteria. The bacteria living in your mouth and tongue feed off of carbohydrates in your diet, and as they flourish they produce odorous gases – this is what you are inhaling when you smell bad breath. To make matters worse, when left to thrive this bacteria will coat your teeth and gums in plaque, which can in turn lead to painful conditions like gingivitis (early stage gum disease), periodontal disease and even tooth loss


Dehydration. A dry mouth is another prime offender when it comes to less-than-fresh breath. It’s why most of us suffer from ‘morning breath’ when we wake up - the body has a natural tendency to lower the flow of saliva while we sleep. There’s not much we can do about morning breath, but external factors like alcohol, coffee and prescription medication are all responsible for inhibiting saliva production, causing a dehydrated mouth and giving odour-causing bacteria the perfect environment in which to thrive.


Smoking. When you smoke, carcinogenic particles are left in your throat and mouth, causing an unpleasant smell sometimes referred to as ‘smoker’s breath’. Smokers are also at greater risk of developing periodontal disease, giving you an even more compelling reason to quit the habit.

For chronic sufferers, trying to conquer bad breath can be a frustrating experience - but this is usually because they are attempting to mask, instead of treat, the root cause.  Read on to learn the secrets of how to conquer bad breath for good (hint, you need more than a mint).


(1) www.therabreath.com/tongue-bad-breath.html

Four Ways to Banish Bad Breath


Popping a mint may make you feel like you’re “treating” your bad breath, but it only masks odours in the short term. To eliminate bad breath, you need to go to the source. That means targeting the bacteria which live in your mouth - in particular in the tonsils, tongue, and on the teeth. 

Five things you could be doing to prevent plaque


Brush and floss religiously

A complete oral hygiene routine is the only way to keep foul-smelling bacteria (not to mention gum disease) in check. This means brushing your teeth for two minutes, twice daily, ideally with an electric toothbrush like Philips Sonicare, which removes 7 x more plaque than a manual toothbrush thanks to its unique brush technology.  But if you think oral hygiene stops there, you’re much mistaken. Flossing is an absolute must if you’re a halitosis sufferer - it’s the only way to remove those tiny bits of food that become wedged in between the teeth. Floss once daily as a general rule, but if you’re experiencing a bad breath episode, keep a pack of floss in your pocket and use it after meals to keep bacteria at bay. If you’re not a fan of fiddly dental string, you might find the Philips Sonicare Airfloss Ultra is better suited to your needs - it uses air and microdroplet technology to clean the spaces in between your teeth with minimal fuss and effort.


Tackle your tongue

To really give bad breath its marching orders, you need to banish the bacteria that have accumulated in your tongue.


For a targeted and thorough approach you’ll need a dedicated tongue cleaner.  The Philips Sonicare Tonguecare+ is an innovative electric tongue brush which contours to the tongue’s ridges and grooves to clean away bad breath bacteria below the surface. Using Philips Sonicare sonic technology, it breaks up and cleans away debris with 62,000 brush movements per minute. Already a Philips Sonicare electric toothbrush user? The Tonguecare range transforms your toothbrush into a tonguebrush with just one click.


For added reassurance, combine with the Philips Sonicare BreathRX Tonguespray to help eliminate oral bacteria from the tongue and mouth. It’s clinically proven to kill bad breath bacteria and neutralise odors instantly. The special thick formula coats the tongue and keeps it lubricated for a gentle cleaning experience, while the cool mint flavour leaves your mouth feeling fresh and clean.


Swap your morning coffee for green tea

We know that daily caffeine hit is a tough one to give up, but try trading your coffee beans in for tea leaves and we promise you’ll notice the difference. Not only will you still get your caffeine hit (albeit a smaller one), you’ll minimise the dehydrating effects of the coffee and do your mouth a favour thanks to the bacteria-fighting properties of green tea.


Get hydrated

If dehydration is a prime cause of bad breath, it stands to reason that drinking plenty of water will help to combat the problem. Drink plenty of water during and after meals to keep the saliva flowing and minimise the likelihood of food clinging to your teeth, tongue and gums after eating.


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