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Bad breath treatment

Almost everyone has had bad breath or halitosis at some point in their lives. However, for some people, it’s an everyday battle that negatively affects their personal relationships and quality of life.

SEE ALSO: How do we keep our breath fresh while fasting?

Studies say bad breath affects 1 in 4 adults. Therefore, it’s no surprise that stores and pharmacies are full of rinses, gums, and mints made to fight this condition. However, many of these only masks the problem temporarily and do not really address the cause.

What are the common causes of bad breath?

  • Inadequate oral hygiene
  • Oral diseases like tooth decay and gum disease
  • Dry mouth or xerostomia
  • Certain food such as onion, garlic, and curry
  • Smoking or using smokeless (spit) tobacco
  • Medical conditions such as tonsillitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal disorders, chronic bronchitis, infections of the nose, throat, or lungs
Bad breath causes

How can you avoid bad breath?

  1. Keep an oral hygiene routine.

    Brush and floss regularly to get rid of the food debris that collect between the teeth and along the gumline. Naturally occurring bacteria in the mouth feed on the food particles that remain in the mouth and release foul-smelling compounds as waste product.

    Do not forget to clean your tongue. Use a tongue scraper every day to remove food debris, dead cells, and odor-causing bacteria accumulate on the surface of your tongue.

    If you wear dentures, clean them regularly and speak to your dentist if they no longer fit properly.

  2. Be mindful of your diet.

    Certain foods such as onion, garlic, and other spices may cause bad breath. They contain odor-causing compounds that enter your bloodstream after digestion and are later exhaled or secreted in the saliva.

    Bad breath is one of the most common indications of decayed or rotten teeth. Keep a healthy diet and cut down on sugar, including soda and sports drinks. Cavity-causing bacteria in our mouth feed on sugar and produce acids that attack the enamel. Consuming sugary foods and beverages all day will result in repeated acid attacks that will weaken the enamel and lead to decay.

  3. Avoid dry mouth.

    Our saliva is our primary defense against tooth decay. It neutralizes plaque acids and constantly washes around our mouth and teeth, fighting cavities and helping us keep our breath fresh.

    If you have dry mouth, drink plenty of water and avoid diuretics such as alcohol, coffee, and soft drinks. Chew sugar-free gum to stimulate the flow of your saliva.

  4. Stop smoking.

    Cigarette smoking, shisha (hookah), and other tobacco products leave an unpleasant odor that linger in your breath. Smoking also dries the mouth and increases the risk for gum diseases which are common causes of halitosis.

  5. Visit your dentist regularly.

    Regular dental check-up and clean will help prevent oral diseases and stop them before they get worse.

    SEE ALSO: 6 important things dentists check during routine visits

    Aside from your teeth and gums, your dentist will also check your fillings, crowns, and other restorations. Poor or failing dental works can cause accumulation of food debris and may prevent you from efficiently cleaning your teeth. Bulky crowns or broken fillings can harbor disease-causing bacteria that can cause decay and infection of the gums.

    If the cause of halitosis is localized to the mouth, your dentist will work with you and create a treatment plan that will improve your condition. If the cause is systemic, your dentist will recommend that you consult a doctor.

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