What Causes Bad Breath and How to Prevent It
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be generated from a variety of reasons which include anything from the type of food you eat to a potential serious undiagnosed medical condition. Bad breath stems from two primary factors; the health of your gastrointestinal tract and how well you keep your mouth clean.
The first thing you need to determine is whether your bad breath is a one-time situation, a frequent situation or is it chronic. Smoking, stress and foods can be attributed to temporary cases of bad breath while chronic or frequent bad breath may be attributed to a vitamin deficiency, mouth abscesses, liver disease, ulcers or ineffective digestion. There are also a number of medicines that are known to cause bad breath such as diuretics, antibiotics and tranquilizers.
To find a cure you need to find the cause. Gum, mouthwash and mints do an effective job but typically only on a short-term basis. If you are plagued by bad breath you will be chewing or using mouthwash all day. The only permanent solution is locating the root of the problem.
First and foremost, if you have chronic bad breath you might want to consult your physician. At times, bad breath can be a manifestation of a yet to be discovered medical condition.
In most cases; however, bad breath is simply due to poor dental hygiene. How clean your mouth is will have a direct correlation to the condition of your breath.
If you are not brushing or flossing regularly or properly your mouth becomes a cesspool of bacteria. Food remains lodged between your teeth and finds it way under crowns and around bridges not to mention your gums and tongue. Bacteria have a field day with all the residual deposits. Brush your teeth and tongue after each meal and give your gums some attention as well by rising with a small amount of hydrogen peroxide and water.
Take a look at your diet. Some foods contain or create sulfur compounds which are bad breath’s best friend. A case in point is garlic and onions.
Bacteria love sugar. High levels of sugar feed bacteria which only leads to the creation of additional sulfur compounds. So watch how much sugar you have in your diet and beware of sugary sweets like mints or candy. A better choice would be using a sugar-free counterpart.
Foods containing high levels of acid actually speed up the production of bacteria. Orange, grapefruit, tomato and pineapple juice should be on your watch list.
There are some highly effective and natural approaches to dealing with bad breath. Herbs such as tarragon, rosemary, sage and parsley are effective against bad breath. Add more fiber foods like carrots or apples to your daily diet. Foods high in fiber help create saliva which helps keep your mouth moisturized and rinsed.
Before going to bed rinse with the juice of half a lemon in eight ounces of water or use baking soda. Baking soda is also effective for brushing because it reduces the amount of acid in your mouth and, while brushing, don’t forget your tongue.
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