Bad Breath: How to Avoid, Reduce it

Bad Breath, also known as Halitosis, is a persistent, unpleasant odour in exhaled breath, usually not serious asides from the embarrassment factor. Often times the person with bad breath is unaware of the fact that his or her breath stinks.

Bad breath can have simple causes and not necessarily due to any underlying disease the sufferer may have. Such simple causes include dehydration, poor dental hygiene or recently eating certain foods like onions or garlic. These can easily be prevented by taking certain actions.

Brushing teeth and tongue after eating, flossing at least once a day and replacing toothbrushes at least every three months can go a long way in keeping your breath fresh.

If you don’t want to have bad breath especially as a result of what you eat, then avoiding food known to cause bad breath such as onions and garlic. If you must eat them, have a mint handy to try and combat the odour until you can brush your mouth.

Several internal medical conditions can also cause bad breath. Conditions like diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, and chronic bronchitis. Acid reflux and chronic dry mouth can also cause bad breath. For these serious ailments, one has to go to a doctor to rule them out or for treatment.

To reduce or prevent bad breath that comes from causes other then health conditions, there are a few practices to get used to.

. Brush your teeth after eating: Be consistent with this. Be sure every time you eat, you brush after. You can go as far as keeping a toothbrush and paste at work to use after your lunch break. Use a brand of toothpaste that has fluoride as part of its active ingredients. Toothpastes with antibacterial properties have also been shown to reduce bad breath.

. Floss at least once a day: Flossing helps remove food particles that get stuck in between your teeth and therefore can cause bad odour. Flossing also takes care of plague.

. Brush your tongue: The tongue is a breeding ground for bacteria. Be sure to always brush it to help with odour. Anytime the tongue is heavily coated white, extra care needs to be taken. You can even use a tongue scraper. Your tongue colour should be as close to pink as possible.

. Avoid dry mouth: To keep your mouth moist, avoid tobacco and drink plenty of water — not coffee, soft drinks or alcohol, which can lead to drier mouth. Chew gum or suck on candy to stimulate saliva to keep the mouth moist.

. Adjust your diet: Avoid foods such as onions and garlic that can cause bad breath. If you know you are more prone to having these odours stick to you, avoid them. Eating a lot of sugary foods is also linked with bad breath. Avoid them as well to keep your breath fresh.

. Regularly change your toothbrush: Change your toothbrush before it becomes frayed. Your brush should be changed every three to four months. Choose a soft-bristled toothbrush as opposed to one with hard bristles.

. Schedule regular dental checkups: See your dentist on a regular basis — generally twice a year — to have your teeth or dentures examined and cleaned.

Bad breath is a true turn off. Given that most people will not tell you that your mouth smells always check for yourself in the course of the day.  With your hand covering your mouth and nose, exhale through your mouth, if you are not comfortable with the smell, pop a gum to freshen things up.