Bad breath – what it means and what to do about it

Halitosis is a common problem. Ben looks at how to get fresher breath.

Man holds his nose due to bad breath

Halitosis is the medical term for having bad breath and it is more common than you think.

Dietary issues are usually at fault, but there are also times when it can point to more significant health problems.

If you have ever suffered from bad breath, you know that brushing your teeth only masks the problem at best. Sometimes the smell will not go away until the offending foods have been processed by your body.

Bad breath can also be an early warning sign for a host of diseases and problems. It can point to dental cavities forming in your teeth, gum disease and yeast infections in your mouth.

Aside from the purely dental problems, it can also signal diabetes, chronic acid reflux, heart, liver or kidney problems.

What to do about it

1. Practise good oral hygiene

If you do not brush and floss regularly, food particles can remain in your mouth, promoting bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This causes bad breath. Antibacterial mouth rinses can also help reduce bacteria. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day and you should also remember to brush your tongue. Many toothbrushes now feature tongue applicators on the head. Dentures should be removed at night and cleaned thoroughly before being placed in your mouth the next morning. It is also a good practice to floss daily.

2. Drink more water

Keeping your mouth moist is crucial in the fight against bad breath, and it is possible your halitosis is simply a by-product of dehydration. As well as drinking more water, you can chew sugar-free gum as a way to stimulate the production of more saliva, which can help wash away food particles and bacteria.

3. Eat more fruit and vegetables

Fruits and vegetables contain a lot of water, which can help keep your mouth moist. Saliva is nature's way of keeping your breath fresh.

4. Stop smoking

On top of all the damage smoking is doing to your health, it also plays a nasty role in your mouth. It can not only give you bad breath, but stain your teeth and irritate your gums.

5. Sleep on your side

Snoring, or sleeping with your mouth open, can cause dry mouth and bad morning breath. Beating snoring isn’t easy, but you are more likely to snore if you sleep on your back. If you sleep on your side, you increase your chances of breathing through your nose.

6. Drink green tea

Green tea is rich in polyphenols, which are powerful antioxidants that can kill the bacteria that can cause bad breath. If you replace your coffee with green tea, you are replacing one of the causes with one of the cures.

7. Visit a dentist

If you have tried a number of different solutions and you still can’t solve the problem, it might be time to visit an expert. If your breath has a metallic smell you may have a gum disease, which is often easily treatable if caught early.

Do you have any suggestions or advice to help counter bad breath?

Read more at WebMD

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    COMMENTS

    To make a comment, please register or login
    missmarple
    31st Jul 2017
    3:20pm
    I have just been diagnosed with type2 Diabetes and my main concern is my breath
    Karl
    31st Jul 2017
    4:14pm
    The main problem seems to be bacteria living in the muck which sticks to the surface of our tongues. Try regularly gently scraping the muck from the tongue with an inverted desert or soup spoon, and rinse. Works well for me. Karl
    musicveg
    31st Jul 2017
    7:55pm
    No mention that it could be coming from your gut with bad digestion. Chilli and garlic always gives you bad breath.
    Johnny
    1st Aug 2017
    12:02pm
    I guarantee a product to rid sufferers of bad breath. It's called Pro-Fresh and is produced in Pennsylvania USA. Just google "Pro_Fresh" and order online. It's a mouth rinse which WILL work. I usually buy a dozen bottles at each order and that lasts about 9 months.
    I repeat it will worK


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