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Six Tips for Eliminating Bad Breath

bad breathWith Valentine’s Day quickly approaching, you may be thinking “is my breath fresh?” before your date night on February 14th. No one likes to hear it, but it’s worse not to know if you have bad breath.

Bad breath, known as Halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.

Bad breath is often caused by a build-up of bacteria in your mouth that causes inflammation and gives off noxious odours or gases that smell like sulfur — or worse. The easiest way to find out if you do have bad breath is to either ask a trusted friend OR take a whiff of your used floss. Either one should give you the honest truth.

What Causes Bad Breath?

About 80% of bad breath is caused by a problem in the mouth. This could be plaque and tartar build up that houses bacteria, gum disease, cavities or food trapped in tonsils. A denture that is not kept clean can also hold yeast and bacteria that would contribute to foul odours.

Other causes include various medical conditions, such as diabetes, post-nasal drip, sinus congestion, bronchitis, and acid reflux. Several medications can cause dry mouth which would also enhance bad breath. (Learn more about Dry Mouth here)

However the first professional you should visit if you are concerned about Bad Breath is your dentist. Once an oral cause is ruled out he/she may refer you for a medical consultation to rule out any condition or illness that may be the root of the problem.

I have Bad Breath, how can I make it better?

1.  Good oral hygiene is the most important treatment. Brushing at least twice a day for 3 minutes, flossing daily and cleaning your tongue will reduce odour causing bacteria from building up and prevent cavities and gum disease that also promote bad breath.

2.  Having a dental check up at least once a year and a cleaning every 6 months will also ensure that any causes of bad breath are being prevented or managed.

3.  Drink lots of water to prevent dry mouth and clear harmful bacteria after meals.

4.  Avoid tobacco products, such as cigarettes, pipes and snuff as the odour is very difficult to clear and puts you at risk for severe gum disease.

5.  Reduce alcohol intake which is very drying to the mouth and can leave odours for upto 8-10 hours after consumption.

6.  Chew sugarless gum to increase saliva and leave a minty fresh breath behind.

If you are practicing all of the above and still feel self-conscious about your breath, be sure to visit your dentist to rule out an underlying problem.

Wishing you a very Happy Valentine’s Day full of bright, fresh, healthy smiles.

Comments

  1. Very good advise, Thanks! says:

    Very good advise!

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