Millions of people around the world suffer from halitosis, the medical term for bad breath. This embarrassing condition can take a toll in your relationships, social interactions, and self esteem. Fortunately, you aren’t helpless. We’re going to show you how to fight bad breath.
Steps to eliminating bad breath
In addition to brushing your teeth regularly, eliminating bad breath involves a few simple steps:
- See your doctor to identify the source of your bad breath — most cases of bad breath originate from the mouth, but there are medical conditions that can lead to bad breath. It’s important to rule these out.
- See your dentist — often, a dental cleaning is enough to eliminate bad breath for months. Bad breath typically originates from bacteria on the tongue and sometimes the gums. A cleaning, plus an antibiotic rinse might be all you need.
- Use mouthwash — Regular use of mouth wash can help eliminate bacteria responsible for bad breath. However, we actually recommend using mouthwashes that contain Zinc-Chloride. These mouthwashes, such as SmartMouth, bind to sulfur particles which are the actual particles mostly responsible for bad breath.
- Floss — We know, everyone hate flossing. However, flossing helps maintain gum health. Unhealthy gums, gingivitis, is a source of bacteria which can cause bad breath.
- Use a tongue scraper — Much of the bacteria responsible for bad breath lives on your tongue. Surprisingly, you can improve your breath by physically scraping off this bacteria with the help of a tongue scraper, such as this one.
- Carry Mints or Breath Strips — While not something that will eliminate bad breath, masking bad breath when needed is also important. Always having mints or breath strips (our preference), on hand can help tremendously when your bad breath is causing self esteem issues or social anxiety.
- Avoid Onions and Garlic — Onions and garlic contain substances that can make your breath smell even if you brush your teeth and use mints afterwards. If you want your breath to smell good for a specific occasion, avoid these two foods.
Bad Breath Checklist
In addition to regular brushing and dental cleanings, Here’s what you’ll need to combat bad breath with maximum efficiency.
Other factors to consider
For most people, following the 7 steps above should sufficiently reduce the bad odor from your mouth. However, there are certain situations where even adhering to a strict regimen of brushing, flossing, mouthwash, and dental care doesn’t solve the problem.
If you fall into this category, as we previously mentioned, it’s important to check with a doctor to make sure your breath doesn’t smell bad for health reasons outside the oral cavity. According to WebMD, Some potential causes of bad breath that are not related to oral hygiene are diabetes, liver disease, chronic bronchitis, and other conditions that cause dry mouth such as post-nasal drip, acid reflux, and some stomach conditions. Treating the underlying condition can cause your bad breath to go away.
A dry mouth can also be a cause of bad breath. A dry mouth means less saliva, and saliva helps combat the effects of bacteria in the mouth. The more bacteria, the worse your breath. Keeping hydrated and keeping saliva flowing in your mouth, such as by chewing sugar-free gum, can also improve your breath.
Bad breath is embarrassing, but you don’t have to suffer from it. Consult with your doctor and dentist about our regimen above and see if they think it makes sense for you. Remember, while most causes of bad breath stem from the mouth, it’s not always the case, so be sure to involve your doctor not just your dentist.
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