How to keep bad breath at bay
Put bad breath behind you
You lean over to whisper something funny to your friend but one look at face and you can tell something is up. Could it be your breath? The good news is that bad breath happens to everyone once in a while. Now let’s find out how to detect it, prevent it, and even treat it.
Bad breath is the common name for the medical condition known as halitosis (say: hal-uh-toe-sis). Many different things can cause halitosis, from not brushing your teeth to certain medical conditions. Sometimes, a person’s bad breath can blow you away, and he or she may not even realize there’s a problem. There are tactful and nice ways of letting someone know their breath is foul. For instance, you could offer elaichi or mints or sugarless gum without saying a word.
If you need to tell a friend he or she has bad breath, you could say that you understand foods can cause bad breath because you’ve experienced it yourself. By letting someone know that bad breath isn’t something unusual, you’ll instantly make your friend more comfortable about accepting your offer of chewing gum. On the other hand, if you suspect your own breath is foul, ask someone who will give you an honest answer without making fun of you.
There are three common causes of bad breath; some foods and drinks, such as garlic, onions, cheese, orange juice and soda can cause halitosis. Poor dental hygiene, that is improper brushing and flossing, and smoking and other tobacco use are the other common culprits.
Poor oral hygiene leads to bad breath when food particles that are left in your mouth rot and start smelling. The food bits may begin to collect bacteria, which can be smelly, too. Not brushing your teeth regularly allows plaque (a sticky, colorless film) to build up on your teeth. Plaque is a great place for bacteria to live and yet another reason why breath can turn foul.
It’s easy enough to make your breath smell sweet. Don’t smoke or use tobacco products, of course. And take care of your mouth by brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing once a day. Brush your tongue, too, because bacteria can grow there. Flossing every day helps get rid of particles wedged between your teeth. Also, visit your dentist twice a year for regular checkups and cleanings. The dentist will look around your mouth for any potential problems, including those that can affect breath. For example, gum disease, also known as periodontitis, can cause bad breath and damage your teeth.
If you’re concerned about bad breath, tell your doctor or dentist. But don’t be surprised if he or she leans in and take a big whiff! Smell is one way doctors and dentists can help figure out what’s causing the problem. The way a person’s breath smells can be a clue to what’s wrong. For instance, if someone has uncontrolled diabetes, his or her breath might smell like acetone (the same stuff that’s in nail polish remover).
If you have bad breath all the time and the reason can’t be determined by your dentist, he or she may refer you to a doctor to make sure there is no underlying medical condition causing it. Sometimes sinus problems, and rarely liver or kidney problems, can also cause bad breath.
Usually, there’s a less complicated reason for bad breath, like what you had for lunch! Maybe you shouldn’t have added those extra onions or garlic to your vada pao! Just keep up with your regular brushing and flossing regime and breathe easy and odor free!