27 Mar Spring Breath
Fresh Breath for a Fresh Spring
The time approaches in the seasons when we can smell fresh blooms and the lovely crisp clean air of spring coming through. A time to sit in the park finally with family and friends! However, we all know after a long during winter, our lifestyle habits may have taken a hit, what we eat may have been more to do with just keeping energy levels high in the darkness of the winter season.
What does that mean for our oral health and… for our breath as a result?
Is spring a time for a fresh start with oral health routines too, just like the sunshine, trees and flowers? What happens if were in these new social get together and those that haven’t seen you for a while, notice first, not your new spring jacket but your breath…
What can we do to combat bad breath building up?
Firstly, think about the cause.
From winter, and into spring, it’s worth noting that season allergies, colds and flu’s block noses and reduce effective breathing. This is particularly more troublesome for people with upper airway breathing problems – such as sinus problems. These kinds of things have a few issues. Mucus build up to the back of the throat can lead to increased bacterial loads towards the back of the mouth, tongue and therefore bad breath. That’s one thing. Another is that if you can’t breathe well through your nose, you’re more likely to become a mouth breather for that time. Mouth breathing leads to bad breath because at night (or in the day), our mouth becomes dry. A dry mouth is a gold mine for bacteria on the tongue to do their thing – multiply and release the sulphur compounds that actually cause bad breath.
A healthier lifestyle and managing these problems will definitely help to stop it developing. Staying well hydrated with water can help to avoid the mouth being too dry. Avoiding foods that have long carbohydrate chains like crisps, starchy food, garlic and onions.
Other major causes of bad breath are:
- Poor oral hygiene – not brushing twice a day for example and eating food late at night, leaving it to linger around the tongue in a dry environment. A mouthwash can help but isn’t often tackling the cause fully.
- Smoking – Tobacco products are huge culprits (not mention the damage to general health and contribution to risk of gum disease, and tooth loss!)
- Some health-related conditions like chronic sinusitis and other respiratory disease (like the ones we discussed above too)
- Xerostomia (Dry Mouth) linked to medical conditions and medications. Seek advice from your dentist or GP if you have health issues and a chronic dry mouth. Its worth seeing if they can help.
So after that, what can we really do effectively and quickly to help reduce the risk of bad breath building up and manage it when it does?
Tackling Bad Breath (Halitosis)
As one of the dentists behind the unique tongue cleaner, the JiBee, brought to you by the MyMouth team, its about going back to basics. Basics that started over 2000 years or more or so ago! Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese medicine, as well as other older medicine forms advocated for mechanical tongue cleaning.
What does that mean?
Well – we can use a mouthwash to swirl around to temporary provide bad breath relief and tackle some of the bugs on the tongue in a chemical way. But just like the basics of why we brush our teeth – physically removing the bacteria biofilm on our teeth and around our gums regularly, tongue cleaning is no different.
Our tongues have lots of little crypts where the bacteria that cause gum disease and bad breath hide. You can probably see this on your tongue right now in the mirror – it’s a yellow white coating on the top of your tongue. Physically cleaning this daily (or at least 2 or 3 times in a week) will help to clear away the bacteria from making homes in these crypts. There is no hard and fast rule here in terms of how often – it just needs to be regular and consistent to stop the bacterial proliferating.
The JiBee has been designed because we felt there wasn’t anything out there that we could easily say to our patients – use this. And so, we brought out what was probably less easy to find in western cultures and revamped it be a super tongue cleaner that we use ourselves and love the difference.
What else can help fight bad breath?
The best time to use a mouth wash is after mechanically cleaning your tongue with a JiBee (rather than instead of). However, be careful about relying on mouthwashes as some react with toothpastes to be less effective. Check the back of the bottle of your mouthwash, as some chemicals like Chlorhexidine Gluconate containing mouthwashes need to be used 30 minutes after brushing (or before) – a hassle really, so best to be used after breakfast ready for the day (brush first thing in the morning though)
Remember though, tackle the cause and to not forget to physically remove the bugs.
Do you feel ready for a fresh clean start for spring now?
For more information on the JiBee – visit www.mymouth.co.uk and do check out all the wonderful things happening on the Instagram page where so many dentists and hygienists are using a JiBee already.
(By Dr.Upen Vithlani)