With cold and flu season right around the corner, millions of Americans are seeking vaccinations and stocking up on medications. While this may be a smart move to help lessen the impact of infections, it may also increase the likelihood that they will experience bad breath.
Colder months are a prime time of year for experiencing bad breath. Understanding the symptoms and measures that can be taken to solve the problem may be important for avoiding the potentially embarrassing condition.
The main reason why halitosis becomes so prevalent during the winter months is because dry mouth becomes more common. Medications are a primary cause of dry mouth. Whether it is a simple nasal decongestant or more powerful cough suppressant, many medications list dry mouth as a potential side effect.
Additionally, people tend to spend much more time inside during the winter months. The dry air that many buildings use for heat during this time may have a negative impact on oral health, causing a lack of saliva that can contribute to halitosis.
The reason why a dry mouth causes bad breath is mainly due to the fact that it becomes an ideal breeding ground for odor-causing bacteria. Many harmful microbes thrive in the warm climate of the mouth, and a lack of saliva only encourages them to multiply. Many of the conditions we face in winter contribute to this.
In addition to allowing bacteria to multiply, a dry mouth may contribute to the accumulation of food particles after eating. One of the primary functions of saliva is to sweep the mouth and remove any debris by swallowing. When the mouth is not producing adequate levels of saliva, this process does not take place. Any odiferous foods that were eaten may leave behind many particles that contribute to halitosis.
Therefore, it is important to stay hydrated during the winter months, regardless of whether or not you are taking medication that can cause dry mouth. Drinking plenty of water and staying away from beverages that contain caffeine or alcohol may help keep the saliva flowing in the mouth.
Improving oral hygiene can also help. The breath freshening products offered by TheraBreath may improve the mouth's hydration while killing many of the germs that contribute to halitosis and other dental problems.