The embarrassing thing about mouth odour is that you are never aware of it if you do have it.
People, especially close friends, may likely not tell you straight in your face that you have a bad breath in order not to sound offensive but they will start maintaining a distance whenever you join any conversation.
Mouth odour, bad breath, which doctors call halitosis develop due to different factors:
1. The mouth contains a lot of bacteria which are harmless though.
These bacteria are found in places such as the deep grooves within the tongue and in the spaces between the teeth.
After eating food, some of the food particles get lodged in these spaces between the teeth.
If you don't rinse your mouth adequately with water or brush immediately after food, these harmless bacteria act on the lodged food particles, breaking them down and, in the process, release a certain chemical substance.
This chemical substance is what gives off the bad odour. In some people, not rinsing or brushing after food, can then lead to them developing mouth odour.
2. Some people who wear dentures (artificial tooth or teeth) may develop mouth odour if they wear it overnight consistently.
Dentures, especially at night, prevents the saliva from cleansing the mouth (tongue, teeth and gums) of bacteria which can lead to mouth odour after a while.
So, it is advisable to remove your denture before you sleep at night and clean them before wearing them the next day.
3. Any gum disease, infections affecting the nostrils (nose), pneumonia and diabetes have been found to cause mouth odour in some people.
The first step in effectively dealing with mouth odour is effective personal oral (mouth) hygiene:
1. Brush twice every day with a fluoride toothpaste.
Brush your teeth before going to bed at night and in the morning, preferably after eating your breakfast to take care of food particles lodged in between your teeth.
You may also brush after eating if it's convenient for you. But don't forget to change your toothbrush after 2 months.
2. Use a dental floss instead of a tooth pick to pick your teeth after food.
A dental floss is far more effective at removing food particles than a tooth pick and doesn't injure your gum tissue unlike a tooth pick.
You can get a dental floss from any good pharmacy near you.
3. Chew non-sugar gums after eating food.
This helps in stimulating saliva production whose anti-bacterial chemicals wash off bacteria and food particles from the mouth after food, reducing the chances of the mouth becoming smelly after food.
4. If you do the above consistently for about a month and the mouth odour doesn't go away, then you should visit a dental doctor in any good hospital near you.
The dental doctor will evaluate your mouth appropriately to administer the right treatment for the mouth odour. Also, the dental doctor may refer you to other medical specialists if you have conditions like diabetes or infections of the nostrils.
Finally, whether you have a mouth odour or not, it is highly advisable to change your toothbrush after every 2 to 3 months of use and visit a dentist twice a year for dental checkup.