Suppose you are about to head to an important event and you happen to flunk a breath test. Disappointing, isn’t it? It puts you in an embarrassing situation in front of your colleagues, friends or loved ones. What’s more humiliating and socially unacceptable? The leftovers of last meal speckled across a beautiful grin.
It’s quite surprising that 80 million people all over the world suffer from constant bad breath and dry mouth. If you desperately want to get rid of the problem, let’s have a look at the underlying causes, symptoms and remedies for the same.
Speaking in medical terms, dry mouth or Xerostomia results from bacterial infection, limited production of saliva, change in its composition or malfunctioning salivary glands. Dryness in mouth is directly linked to dehydration, aging, improper diet, anxiety, stress, depression, alcohol abuse, smoking, hormonal changes (as in the case of pregnancy and nursing) and diseases.
An overactive bladder, mental sickness, autoimmune diseases, diabetes and cancer may cause dry mouth. In some cases, it can also be a side effect of using medications for high blood pressure, depression, neuropathy and anxiety. Other possible causes include use of prescription drugs like antihistamines, painkillers, muscle relaxants, decongestants and medicines for seasonal allergies.
Preliminary symptoms include:
- Thick and gristly saliva,
- Rough texture of the tongue,
- Excessive thirst and dry throat,
- Mouth ulcers and sores,
- Bitter taste in the mouth,
- Dry and cracked lips,
- Problems in speaking, biting or swallowing,
- Periodontitis, tartar and gum diseases.
Prevention & Cure
When bacteria seem to deteriorate your oral health, you will have to make minor changes in your dental habits to prohibit them permanently. Adopting healthy techniques like changing toothpaste and toothbrush, regular rinsing and flossing can cure this problem.
5 Healthy Practices
- Rinse your mouth after every meal — Swishing water around mouth dislodges bacteria and eliminates foul odor. You may use peppermint mouthwashes for a palatable breath. Rinsing mouth with green or black tea does the trick!
- Increase intake of water — Listen to your dieticians when they ask you to drink 8 glasses of water every day. Water not only helps you lose weight and brightens skin, but it also washes out dental deposition and stimulates saliva production.
- Use your tongue — We’re not asking you to be naughty! You just have to run your tongue over teeth after every meal to check if there are bits of food trapped between them.
- Follow strict dental schedule — You must brush your teeth twice a day. Use antibacterial toothpastes for quick results. Brush or scrape your tongue and floss your teeth on a regular basis to remove dental debris. Replacing tongue cleaners and toothbrushes after every 3 months is a healthy practice.
- Visit your dentist — Go for a complete dental checkup at least once in every 6 months for safe oral health.
Crunch & Munch!
Chlorophyll present in green leafy vegetables mainly parsley is excellent breath deodorizer. Likewise, fruits rich in carotene or pectin (apples, cayenne peppers, carrots, celery sticks, cranberries) stimulate salivary glands.
Spices are ultimate bacteria killers! Cloves contain natural aromatic oil rich in eugenol. It is a potent antibacterial agent. Anise seeds, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, fennel, dills and tea tree oil are good antiseptic agents. You must include them in your diet.
- Aloe Vera juice moisturizes gums, protects sensitive oral tissues and soothes taste buds. Drink half a cup of Aloe Vera juice in an empty stomach, every morning or use a cotton swab to apply readymade gel on your teeth and gel. Rinse your mouth with cold water to experience a refreshing breath.
- Slippery elm consists of mucilage that relives oral symptoms and cures dryness. Add 1 tablespoon of the herb to hot water, cover it and set aside for 10 minutes. Strain the leaves and add honey for taste. Drink this tea twice a day for healthy gums and teeth.
Many other items like fennel seeds, hydrogen peroxide, olive oil and lemon can work as an effective cure. You just have to couple home remedies with healthy dental practices and you are ready to flash a brilliant grin at the spectators next time!