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Banish Bad Breath

By Jill Hamilton on December 4, 2012 in Healthy Living


Dental hygiene is one of those tricky social conundrums that I have always struggled to understand. I get that a bad smell is a personal problem and strangers shouldn’t get involved but sometimes I wonder if the guilty even know of their slight problem. Sometimes I stop and wonder if I am the one who is breathing fire.

Hints may come in the form of an offer for freshening gum or obvious sniffs, but they may not even come at all. Because of this problem, I have a very strict rule: beat them to the punch. Be extra meticulous about your breath so you never have to be the guilty presence.

Halitosis can be caused by a number of factors, from stinky food to medication. Not all causes are due to lack of diligence so it is good to know what the possible causes are. Here are some of the most common reasons for halitosis and how you can treat them.

Food
Certain foods can leave your breath smelling less than fresh up to three days after you've eaten them! Onions, garlic and coffee are common culprits.1 If you find that a certain food leaves this long-term effect with you, you may want to think about making some changes to your diet.

Dry mouth
It may be hard to believe but saliva is a great thing. It helps wash away food particles and bacteria so food doesn't decay in your mouth and create bad breath and cavities. Dry mouth sufferers don't have enough saliva to do the job, but they can try to increase the flow by drinking more fluids or chewing sugarless gum. Dry mouth can also be caused by certain medications.1 If you think this may apply to your situation, consult your physician to see if you can switch to a different medication.

Smoking
Do you need a reason to quit smoking besides cancer? It also makes your breath foul.1

Medical conditions
Sometimes bad breath is a warning sign. Halitosis can be a symptom of diabetes, chronic bronchitis, digestive issues and liver or kidney disease.1 If you've exhausted the other possibilities and are still turning people away with your dragon breath, you may want to consider talking to your doctor about your overall health.

Good oral health habits never hurt, either. Be sure to brush your tongue and gum line in addition to scrubbing your pearly whites.1 A tongue scraper may also be useful.2

Do you have any tips for our audience? Leave them in the comments!

Sources:
1. http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,Delta80
2. http://oralhealth.deltadental.com/Search/22,DD115

Photo Credit: Voo Health