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What Is Halitosis and What To Do If You Have It

Tuesday - September 20th, 2016
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Halitosis is the medical term for what’s commonly known as bad breath, which affects over 80 million people.

The culprit of bad breath is usually bacteria in the mouth, stuck food particles beginning to decay, or other debris in the mouth, often resulting from poor oral hygiene. Other medical conditions, including gum disease, diabetes, kidney or liver problems, may also cause it. Here are some ways to avoid becoming a victim of bad breath:

Good oral hygiene is key. It is essential to clear your mouth of the bacteria and debris that can cause bad breath. Brush your teeth, tongue, cheeks and roof of your mouth twice daily, floss daily, and use a tongue scrapper.

Avoid certain foods that linger on your breath. The top offenders are garlic, onions, coffee and alcohol. Garlic and onions contain sulfuric compounds that will immediately affect your breath, plus they are also metabolized into your blood stream and can make your breath smell long after you’ve brushed your teeth. On the other hand, coffee and alcohol dry out your mouth by slowing the production of saliva. Without salvia to clear away bacteria, it will start to grow rapidly.

Stimulate your saliva flow. Saliva helps to clear bacteria that cause bad breath, so stimulating it can be a huge help. You can do this by staying hydrated, chewing sugar-free gum and by sucking on sugar-free mints or lozenges.

If you notice that you have chronic halitosis, make an appointment with your dentist to determine what’s causing it.