Deep exhale - A guide to fighting bad breath

November 27, 2013

Bad breath— what an embarrassing problem! The only thing worse is being on the receiving end of it. The good news is that bad breath can be treated.

Deep exhale - A guide to fighting bad breath

People who suffer from bad breath are usually mortified to realize they have it. All too often, we have to figure it out for ourselves, because our friends and family are too shy to tell us. Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, can be caused by a number of factors, many of which are easy to resolve with a bit of attention and care.

The major culprits

  • Food. Many foods (garlic, onion, fish, deli meats, cheese) as well as coffee and alcohol can spoil the freshest breath. After a heavy meal, it isn’t unusual for our breath to be on the fringe of what is tolerable. But what about bad breath that lingers all day, day after day? You know, the sort of bad breath that prompts you to e-mail your colleague at work, even though he occupies the desk next to yours.
  • Oral hygiene. When the problem is chronic, the halitosis may be caused by inadequate oral hygiene. Not brushing regularly, with toothpaste, or not flossing can leave organic matter to decay in your mouth. Tooth decay, gingivitis, and other mouth disorders are conditions that may also bring about bad breath.
  • Medical problems. If more frequent brushing and flossing don’t help, then the problem may have nothing to do with dental hygiene at all. Persistent bad breath can stem from a medical problem, such as diabetes, liver or kidney disease, cancer, sinusitis, gastro-intestinal problems, or pulmonary conditions.
  • Medication. Antidepressants, antihistamines, anxiolytics, anti-inflammatory medications, and many other medications that cause dryness of the mouth can be the cause of halitosis.
  • Smoking. Over and above the fact that smoking is detrimental to your health, cigarettes contribute substantially to spreading the foul odours emanating from your mouth. If you stop smoking, you are sure to see a difference.

Tricks for prevention

There is hope at the end of the tunnel. It is possible to prevent, treat, and even totally get rid of bad breath. The first thing to do is improve your oral hygiene.

  • Brush your teeth and clean your tongue with your toothbrush after each meal
  • Floss every day
  • Drink lots of water

There are also a few efficient tricks that can help to hide unpleasant breath.

  • Drink green tea
  • Chew sugarless gum
  • Nibble on a carrot or an apple or chew parsley leaves

Remember, though, that nothing can replace regular tooth brushing and regular checkups at the dental clinic. Your dentist can give you valuable advice that will help you to quickly get rid of your problems with bad breath.

How do I know if I have bad breath?

When you often have a bad taste in your mouth, chances are good that your breath is bad. Are you still unsure? Lick your wrist, then smell it. You’ll know right away if there’s a problem, and you can make an appointment to see a dentist or a dental hygienist for a good cleaning. It also helps to keep in mind that stress, fasting, and chewing food improperly predispose us to bad breath.

The material on this website is provided for entertainment, informational and educational purposes only and should never act as a substitute to the advice of an applicable professional. Use of this website is subject to our terms of use and privacy policy.
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