Bad Breath? Take Action With These Tips!

Halitosis (or bad breath) is an oral health condition that can lower a person’s self-esteem. We may feel we can’t get close to friends and loved ones, or work in close proximity with co-workers, because we literally do not pass the “smell test.”

But there is a positive outcome that can be gleaned by taking bad breath seriously. Halitosis can be a signal that something is out of balance in our body, and if we address our oral hygiene and other possible causes of the condition, we may end up with a healthier mouth than when we started. Oral Hygiene

Oral Hygiene Action Steps To Combat Bad Breath

  1. Understand the causes of bad breath. There are several common culprits when it comes to bad breath. Illnesses such as cancer, diabetes, lung and kidney diseases can produce foul-smelling breath, and some foods (such as onions or garlic) may contribute to halitosis. But a majority of cases of bad breath are caused by poor dental hygiene.
  2. See your dentist for an examination of your overall oral health. Because so many cases of halitosis are related to tooth decay, gum disease and other oral hygiene issues, it’s important to have your dentist check on the state of your mouth. His or her team can also clean your teeth thoroughly to remove dental plaque, which can contribute to halitosis.
  3. If your bad breath is aggravated by dry mouth, keep yourself well hydrated. Dry mouth, also known as xerostomia, often causes bad breath. If this is true for you, you’ll want to focus on keeping a flow of saliva in your mouth by drinking lots of water, rinsing your mouth with a mouthwash designed for dry mouth, and chewing a sugarless gum containing xylitol.
  4. Maintain a consistent at-home oral hygiene routine. Reducing the amount of dental plaque on your teeth will reduce the risk of tooth decay. Electric toothbrushes are especially good at removing plaque. Tongue scrapers can also remove bacteria from your mouth.  

“Halitosis doesn’t have to be a long-term sentence of embarrassment – improving your oral hygiene can significantly reduce the chances that you’ll have bad breath,” says Dr. Carol Ford, a cosmetic dentist with a practice in central Phoenix.

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