Ever since we can remember, we've been told that bacteria and plaque leads to tooth decay and cavities. From childhood on, we've been warned to brush and floss or face the consequences. But, were you aware that germs and bacteria-producing food debris can also cause bad breath ?Halitosis is a condition that affects millions of Americans ,at one time or another. Some of us may not even be aware that we have less than desirable breath until it is pointed out to us by a friend, family member or by our dentist.
The major villains behind foul breath are poor oral hygiene practices. You have got to keep your mouth clean with a solid brushing routine, flossing and the use of bacteria fighting mouthwashes. Ask your dentist what he or she recommends as far as mouth rinses go. Many over the counter mouthwashes do nothing to kill the germs that cause halitosis. They merely cover up the problem, on a very temporary basis.
Sometimes, though, even the most ardent brusher and flosser will fall prey to halitosis. Certain medical conditions ,diseases and side effects from medicine can make your breath quite unpleasant.
Halitosis odors are caused by large amounts of sulfur compounds that are produced from the break downs of proteins in your mouth.
The bacteria that breeds sulfur can usually be found on your tongue and in your throat and tonsil area. When these sulfuric compounds are released from the back of your tongue , and into the air, bad breath is the result. Those who are standing closest to you can smell the toxins.
People who wear braces or dentures are especially prone to having stinky breath because it's so easy for food particles to get caught up in the bands and wires of dental appliances . Loose fitting braces can cut the inside of your cheeks or tongue ,causing sores to form .If an infection occurs, your oral health could be in danger. The end game, though, is always bad breath.
The common toothbrush was not made to reach all the way to the rear of your tongue, which is the bacterial danger zone. That's why many dentists tell their patients ,who suffer from chronic halitosis, to go out and purchase a tongue scraper. Available at most neighborhood pharmacies and chain stores, these scrapers are specifically designed to remove every last bit of food debris that may still be present, after you have brushed your teeth before bedtime.
If you have bad breath that is persistent, your dentist will perform a careful check of your gums. Foul odors or a bad taste in one's mouth could indicate a red flag for Periodontal disease.
Your dentist will also advise you to cut down on or entirely eliminate foods and beverages that are known to contribute to bad breath.
Got a hot date tonight or an important client meeting coming up ? Then you might want to skip ordering anything that has Provolone, camembert, blue or Romano cheese in the dish. Very spicy foods such as jalapenos or chili are not going to do your breath or your stomach, any favors ,come to think of it. That's why ,if a patient has chronic halitosis, his or her dentist will request a list of the foods and beverages that they consume most often. Tracking down the cause of bad breath is, very often, a process of elimination.
If your beverage of choice is coffee, beer or a glass of red wine, then you had better carry a pack of sugar-free mints or chewing gum with you. They will ,for awhile, at least, mask the bad breath that these beverages can cause.
Tea, however, is one popular drink that fights the onset of halitosis. Green and black tea both contain polyphenols that help to eliminate the bacteria that is in your mouth. Tea is one of the best weapons that you can have in making those sulfur compounds that we talked about earlier, completely disappear from your tongue.
Dry mouth and halitosis are another combination that just seem to go together. And not in a good way!
Dry mouth happens when your body doesn't produce enough saliva. Salivary gland problems could be the cause or it could be something as simple as you're not drinking enough water.
Saliva is important because it moistens the mouth and washes away food particles and dead cells that can accumulate on the tongue. It also neutralizes acids that are produced by plaque. So, saliva is a big cavity fighter as well as your ally against halitosis. If drinking more water or chewing gum ( to stimulate the flow of saliva), doesn't work, then your dentist will most likely, prescribe some medication.
A popular "home remedy" for curing bad breath is to pick up some parsley, cloves or mint, at your local organic health food store.
When you chew on nature's deodorizers, they will alleviate the obnoxious odors that come from the foods that you've eaten. Before making any purchase, though, please consult your dentist or doctor first. Only a medical professional can determine if these items, seemingly harmless though they may be, could conflict with any allergies you have or medicines that you are taking.
When most people think of halitosis, inflammation of the sinuses usually doesn't enter into the equation. But, sinusitis is a major villain behind bad breath.
Post nasal drip, after all, consists of mucus that builds up in the back of your throat. The mucus attracts bacteria, which, in turn, creates malodorous breath. Your dentist may recommend a decongestant to help you deal with the sinusitis.
Severe acid reflux, digestive tract issues and liver problems can also contribute to halitosis problems.
Halitosis, however, is not just a physical condition. It has severe psychological ramifications, as well.
Bad breath has always been a source of material for stand up comics , who have little imagination. Kids whose breath is a bit stinky are also targets for schoolyard bullies. Even as adults, many men and women with chronic halitosis ,find that this condition lowers their self-esteem and confidence.
Please understand that this medical condition does not and should not define who you are as a person. Together with your dental professional, take control of your halitosis and be proactive. Before you even know it, you'll be breathing sweeter.