Help with Halitosis

Do you find yourself constantly popping mints or gum to freshen your breath? Is your bad breath causing you t be self-conscience? Do you find that no matter how often you brush, you just can’t seem to kick your bad breath to the curb? Halitosis, the medical term for bad breath, is not something to ignore.  Often, it is a result of poor oral hygiene habits and could be a sign of a more serious health condition.  It can be affected by the types of food you eat and the lifestyle choices that you make too.  There are actions you can take however to eliminate and even prevent halitosis.

Bad breath can be caused by a number of sources.  Ever eat a garlicky meal, brush and brush, and still not feel that the scent has vacated your mouth? Well, the truth is, it won’t until the food has been completely digested and passed through your body.  Foods are absorbed into the bloodstream and eventually end up in your lungs, which is why your breath can take on the scent.  But again, this cause is only temporary, and you just have to let nature take its course.  Poor habits however are a different story.  If you do not practice good oral hygiene (i.e. brush twice daily, floss, and visit your dentist regularly), bad breath can be caused by the food particles that are left in your mouth.  They encourage the growth of bacteria in between your teeth and on your tongue, which not only will cause cavities and gum disease, but don’t smell pleasant either.  Speaking of gum-disease, one of the more prevalent symptoms of this undesirable condition is chronic bad breath.  Gum disease has been linked to more serious health conditions, such as diabetes, heart disease, and even Alzheimer’s.  Other diseases and illnesses that can cause halitosis include pneumonia, chronic sinus infections, chronic acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems.

If you’d like to avoid halitosis or get rid of this unwelcome trait, there are several steps you can take.  Be sure to practice good oral hygiene.  Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste, and don’t forget about your tongue.  Be sure to replace your toothbrush every two to three months.  Flossing really does help and it’s so simple! It barely takes any time at all.  If you wear dentures, be sure to remove them at night and clean them thoroughly every day.  Visit your dentist at least twice a year for a professional cleaning and exam.  It’s always easier to treat a condition if it’s discovered early! Smoking and/or chewing tobacco not only causes bad breath but is linked to several life-threatening conditions.  Your dentist can give you tips on how to kick this bad habit.  Keep your mouth moist by drinking lots of water.  Sugarless chewing gum and candy can also stimulate saliva, which helps to keep your mouth clean and fresh.  There are several over-the-counter remedies for bad breath, such as mouthwash and breath mints.  Keep in mind however that these are typically temporary fixes, and if they don’t eliminate the bad breath all together, a visit to your dentist is recommended.

Written by Mark Paulsort

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