|How to deal with bad breath (halitosis)|
|Saturday, 14 July 2012 20:02|
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Today, of course, Americans still worry that their breath smells bad (and swish capful after capful of mouthwashes that often contain little more than alcohol and flavouring to fix it).
Indeed, New York Times health columnist Jane E. Brody has written that she receives more questions about bad breath than about any other common medical problem. Fortunately, this article contains all the information you need to know about bad breath, from where it starts to home remedies that will help keep your mouth smelling fresh. Let’s begin with a closer look at the problem.
Maybe one explanation for this pre-occupation with oral odour is the simple fact that you can’t really tell whether you’ve got bad breath. This is a time when you have to depend on the honesty and kindness of friends to let you know if your breath smells bad. If you’re on your way to that important meeting and you simply must know if your breath will precede you through the door, try breathing into a handkerchief or running floss between your teeth and taking a sniff.
Fixing bad breath depends on what’s causing it. In 80 to 90 percent of cases, it’s due to something in the mouth. Most often, bad breath is the result of nothing more serious than a dirty mouth. Plaque, the nearly invisible film of bacteria that’s constantly forming in your mouth, is often responsible. Another possible source of stink can be decaying food that’s trapped between teeth.
Persistent bad breath may be due to a treatable dental problem, such as an undiagnosed cavity or periodontal (gum) disease. Sometimes a broken filling can trap food particles. If you visit the dentist and no such problem is found, however, you may want to investigate further and talk to your physician about other possible causes. Occasionally, ongoing bad breath is due to something in the respiratory tract (such as a sinus or lung infection) or gastrointestinal tract or to a systemic (body-wide) condition. Diabetes, for example, can give the breath an unpleasant chemical smell.
Of course, what you eat can contribute to bad breath, too. The strong odours of foods like garlic, onions, and alcohol are carried through the bloodstream and exhaled by the lungs. Another big loser when it comes to turning your breath sour, and harming your health, is tobacco.
No matter how hard you try to clean your teeth and watch your diet, we all have an epidsode of bad breath occasionally.
Figuring out the cause of bad breath is the first step, obviously, in doing something about it, but here are some home remedies to keep your breath as fresh as possible.
Keep your mouth clean. Brush thoroughly at least twice a day, and floss daily. Food and bacteria trapped between teeth and at the gum line can be removed only with floss; if it’s left to linger, it’s not going to smell nice. Periodontal disease can result in chronically bad breath.
Clean your tongue, too.
Bacteria left on your tongue can contribute to less-than-fresh breath, so be sure to brush your tongue after you’ve polished your pearly whites.
Ditch your dentures. If you wear dentures, never wear them to sleep. Give them a thorough cleaning and leave them out until morning.
Wet your whistle. A dry mouth can equal smelly breath. Saliva helps clean your mouth; it has a natural antibacterial action and it washes away food particles. (Reduced saliva flow at night explains why your breath smells sour when you wake up in the morning.) Try sucking on sugarless mints to stimulate saliva production.