ACHIEVING FRESH BREATHTips for fighting halitosisDo You Have Halitosis?
Have you noticed or has someone told you that you have bad breath? Halitosis (the medical term for bad breath) can embarrass you. It can also affect how other people think about you. Here are some of the most common causes of bad breath.
Bacteria. Food particles left in your mouth after a meal combine with bacteria to create a bad odour. Bacteria often collect on the back of your tongue.
Gum Disease. Gum disease is an infection of the gums. The infection can also cause bad breath.
Dry Mouth. Saliva cleanses your mouth, washing away many odour-causing bacteria. A dry mouth means too little saliva. This can lead to bad breath. Your mouth may become dry when you sleep, if you don't drink enough fluids, or because of certain medications.
Certain Foods. Some types of food and drink can cause bad breath. These include garlic, onions, fish, cabbage, coffee and alcohol.
Tobacco. Smoking or chewing tobacco can make your breath smell. This bad breath stays with you even when you're not smoking or chewing.
Other Causes. There are other causes of bad breath. Braces, dentures and other mouth gear may smell if not kept clean. Certain medical problems may cause bad breath. Sinus problems that cause drainage into the throat may sometimes lead to mouth odour. And, in general, bad breath becomes more of a problem as you age.Your Dentist Can Help
Your dentist can look for a cause of bad breath that can be treated. If a cause is found, treatment may improve your breath.Finding the cause
Some people think they have bad breath when they don't. First, your dentist confirms that you do have bad breath. Then, he or she looks for causes. You're checked for gum disease and asked questions about foods you eat, any medications you take and how you care for your teeth.Possible treatments
If a problem such as gum disease is found, your dentist can help treat it. You may also be referred to another dental or medical specialist for evaluation and treatment. Sometimes, no cause is found that can be treated. In this case, your dentist can suggest things that may help fight bad breath.What You Can Do
You can do some simple things to help avoid bad breath. First, brush after each meal and floss every day. Then, try some of these other tips.
Brush Your Tongue. Brush your tongue (or use a special tongue scraper) to clean off food and odour-causing bacteria. Brush as far back as you can.
Keep a Moist Mouth. Drink plenty of water and rinse your mouth with water every so often to keep saliva flowing. Chewing sugarless gum can also help.
Make Diet Changes. Try to avoid foods that can cause bad-smelling breath.
Stop Smoking. If you smoke or chew tobacco, quit. You'll be amazed how much better your breath will smell.Ask About Mouth Rinses.
Most over-the-counter mouthwashes only cover up bad breath for a short time. However, your dentist may suggest a prescription mouth rinse that can help kill odour-causing bacteria.Fresh and Healthy Breath
If there is no underlying medical cause, you can usually achieve fresh smelling breath. Practice good oral hygiene. See your dentist regularly. And use what you've learned to keep your breath smelling great.