Most people don’t realise that stress can lead to bad breath. That’s probably because there are plenty of more common factors of bad breath, also known as halitosis. These include periodontal disease, sinus infections, and habits like smoking or eating lots of pungent foods.
Bad breath is generally caused by an excess of bad bacteria in the mouth, but some people continue to experience oral odour event though they brush and floss regularly, change their habits and maintain good oral hygiene. In these cases, stress may be the culprit.
But how exactly does stress cause bad breath? Well, when humans are in high-stress situations their bodies react by giving them a boost of energy to quickly react to dangerous circumstances. However, this also causes the mouth to produce less saliva. Saliva is necessary to moisten food for good digestion but is deemed unnecessary in critical situations.
With less saliva the mouth becomes dry more easily, which leads to bad breath. The odorous gases created by bacteria in the mouth, which are generally swallowed away, are free to be released into the air. Bacteria are also much more likely to stick to the surface of a dry mouth.
Luckily, there are many ways to fight bad breath caused by a dry mouth. Keeping the mouth moist by drinking plenty of water is essential. Chewing sugar-free gum can also stimulate the production of saliva. If you use mouthwash to wash away bad-smelling bacteria, make sure to pick one that contains little or no alcohol, which can further dehydrate the mouth.
While these tips may help you find relief from bad breath, it’s important to solve the problem at its root. This may require you to talk to your dentist to determine precisely why you have halitosis and which treatment plan will best help you.
If stress is indeed the cause of your bad breath, there are many stress-reducing techniques you can use. Meditation is one of the most widely known practices of clearing the mind and easing tension, and it has been clinically proven to reduce stress and incite relaxation. Similarly, deep breathing exercises can be beneficial, and any form of exercise will boost endorphin production, allowing you to better handle your emotions in high-stress situations.
Don’t be afraid to reach out to friends and mental health professionals for help working through difficult, stressful times in your life, or consider talking to your doctor about anti-anxiety medication.
If you’re worried about your teeth or your mouth, the best thing to do is visit the dentist. Call us here at Dental Care Partnership on 0121 354 1922 to book an appointment with one of our friendly team.