Various studies show that somewhere between 1 in 4 up to nearly half of all adults in the United States have halitosis, or chronic bad breath.
In other parts of the world this number is even higher.
And yet even more research has shown that bad breath may even be so intolerable that it is listed as the #1 job killer during interviews.
What does all of this mean?
It means that as an adult, having bad breath can set you back in innumerable ways.
And so, in this article you will learn how to treat bad breath in adults.
But before I discuss treating bad breath in adults, let’s first discuss what exactly causes it.
Causes of Bad Breath in Adults
There are quite a few causes of bad breath, so let’s start with the most common and work our way down.
Poor Oral Hygiene
Having poor oral hygiene is the first and biggest cause of bad breath in adults (and kids).
What happens is that when a person does not brush their teeth and floss daily, little bits of food that you chewed remain stuck around and in between your teeth.
Those bits of food produce bacteria, which in turn promotes foul odors.
It also contributes to tooth decay, gingivitis and other dental problems.
But that isn’t the only reason for bad breath, let’s move on to the second biggest cause.
The foods that you eat are also a huge contributing factor in bad breath.
When you eat food, the breakdown process first starts in your mouth. The broken down food then moves into the stomach, where it is broken down into nutrients and passed along into the bloodstream, and then (eventually) makes its way into your lungs.
What all of this means is that the food that you eat will produce some sort of odor from the moment it enters your mouth, until the moment it exits your body.
Certain foods in particular are known for producing bad breath, such as: garlic, onions, various spices, cheeses, fish and coffee.
According to research pointed out by Dr. Harold Katz, the worst food to eat (in terms of smell) is garlic, as it has many sulfuric-compounds producing foul odors, and is quite tricky to combat.
Poor oral hygiene and diet are by far the two largest contributors for bad breath (halitosis) in adults.
That being said, they aren’t the only contributors.
Certain Medical Conditions
The final aspect contributing to bad breath in adults are certain medical conditions, such as gum disease, teeth cavities, yeast infections in the mouth and dry mouth.
Furthermore, liver and kidney problems may also induce foul-smelling odors in one’s mouth.
So, now that we know what causes bad breath, let’s next turn to how to treat bad breath in adults.
Treating Bad Breath in Adults
Now that you know the three major causes of bad breath, let’s discuss effective ways to combat it.
Let’s start with oral hygiene, because if this isn’t up-to-speed, nothing else will matter.
Brush Your Teeth After Every Meal AND Floss
If you aren’t doing this, this is likely going to be the main cause of any halitosis you may have.
We aren’t going to bore you with the specifics here (if you need to know if you are brushing your teeth properly, check this video out), but it needs to be stated.
So, develop a habit of always brushing your teeth. If you are on the go like many people, try carrying a travel-kit for your toothbrush and toothpaste. It will be invaluable.
As was stated above, if you don’t do this, your mouth is going to become a haven for foul-odor producing bacteria. Your tongue and saliva simply can’t wash away every bit of food.
And speaking of your tongue, be sure to at the very least, give it a good scrubbing when you brush your teeth.
Or better yet, pick up a tongue scraper.
They work well to get rid of all the gunk and junk built up on your tongue over the last few days/months/years.
Next time you are around a mirror, stick out your tongue. If it’s covered in white gloop, invest in a scraper.
Fight Odor-Producing Food with Other Foods
I know you don’t want to give up your favorite foods, even though they may help cause bad breath. I don’t blame you.
Here is how to treat bad breath in adults when it is caused by odor-producing food.
According to the Journal of Food Science, there are certain foods that do a great job of countering the affects of foul-odor producing foods such as garlic.
- lemon juice
- green tea
Raw apples in particular were especially helpful in countering bad breath caused by garlic. So, next time you have a dish containing garlic, try eating a few slices of freshly cut apple right after.
Green tea is also especially helpful, as not only does it contain healthy antioxidants, but contains plenty of L-Theanine, which works just as well as caffeine but without all of the nasty side-effects (such as higher blood pressure and anxiety).
If you really want to take a bite out of your bad breath, incorporate eating daily apples and drinking green tea throughout your day.
Hopefully, this article adequately answered any questions you may have had about how to treat bad breath in adults.
To quickly summarize.
Bad Breath Causes:
- poor oral hygiene
- eating certain foods
- gum disease and other medical conditions
How to Treat Bad Breath in Adults:
- brush after every meal, and floss and tongue scrape daily
- incorporate apples and green tea into your diet in order to counter the effects of foul odour-producing foods such as garlic
- get a health check-up to ensure that you do not have any medical conditions contributing to your bad breath