Everybody has bad breath at one time or other. Sometimes the condition is chronic, so medical help may be required to correct the situation. For most cases, however, gaining an understanding of the causes of bad breath will allow appropriate steps to be taken to eliminate the problem.
Causes of Bad Breath
Bad breath, medically referred to as halitosis, is usually caused by food being left in the mouth. These particles stick to the tongue, and collect around the teeth, on the gums and on any dentures. This provides a breeding ground for bacteria, and resulting bad odors. The gums could become infected, and be a source of further odor. Sometimes odors are caused by specific foods, such as garlic or onions. Cigarettes and other tobacco products, coffee and even some medications are another source of bad breath.
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There are simple steps that will reduce or prevent most causes of bad breath. Be sure that you are following good oral hygiene practices. Use fluoride toothpaste to brush your teeth at twice a day, and after meals. Brush your tongue as well. Replace your toothbrush every 3 months so it remains effective. Be sure to floss at least once a day to remove all food particles and plaque from between our teeth, especially at the gum line.
If you wear dentures, remove and thoroughly clean them at night so they are ready to wear again in the morning. Regular dental visits, at least twice a year, for teeth cleaning and a general check will correct any problems that might be causing bad breath. If this is your problem, do your best to stop smoking or using other tobacco products. Drinking more water will help wash away food particles and bacteria. Chewing sugarless gum does the same thing. It is probably a good idea to keep notes of the foods you eat, and removing from your diet the foods that may be problematic.
Another useful approach is to begin using a mouthwash. There are three types of mouthwash. The first is essentially a cosmetic mouthwash, designed to combat bad breath. It will freshen your mouth, and make it feel clean. Consider upgrading to an antiseptic mouthwash that will not only deal with bad breath but will also reduce plaque and reduce tooth decay. For those who are prone to tooth decay, a fluoride mouthwash is also available.
With regular daily attention to oral hygiene, you will quickly be able to confidently interact with others without fear of any embarrassing bad breath.