Prevent Bad Breath
There are few things more embarrassing than finding out your breath isn’t as fresh as you’d hoped. Sometimes it’s caused by certain foods, sometimes by the bacteria that build up in your mouth while you sleep. Over 90 million people suffer from chronic bad breath, also known as chronic halitosis. But there are a few simple steps you can follow to prevent bad breath while you’re out and about. The easiest way to avoid chronic halitosis is to brush and floss your teeth. You also want to brush your tongue lightly with your toothbrush; this simple step clears more bacteria out of your mouth, and can help prevent bad breath from ruining your day. Listerine is another great adjunct to treating halitosis. Listerine kills bacteria, the same bacteria you may be harboring in your mouth causing bad breath. Regular appointments with your dentist can also help you avoid chronic halitosis by ensuring that nothing more serious than a love of garlic knots is keeping friends away. People who chew tobacco or smoke are also prone to bad breath, so for the sake of your health – and your social life – it is a good idea to kick the habit as soon as you can.
Treat Bad Breath
Sometimes, however, bad breath sneaks up on us. If you’re suffering from chronic halitosis, there are treatment options available that you can perform yourself. You can treat bad breath in the short term by chewing sugar-free gum. The gum helps dislodge any food particles stuck in your teeth, thus reducing the likelihood of stinky breath. Just make sure to stick to sugar-free gum or mints, as the added sugars may increase the chances of developing a less-than-pleasant mouth odor. Another trick to treat bad breath involves ingesting cinnamon, either with food or in your gum. Cinnamon can actually decrease the amount of bacteria in your mouth, so it eliminates the causes of chronic halitosis, not just the symptoms. (Chewing cinnamon flavored sugar-free gum is the dental equivalent of a “two for one” here.) You can also eliminate some forms of “smelly” breath with a piece of bread. Many people diet by decreasing their carbohydrate intake, and as a result suffer from “ketone breath.” Adding a few carbs to your diet may help prevent bad breath for a longer period of time.
If you find that your attempts to prevent bad breath aren’t as effective as you’d like, you might want to consider purchasing a water pick. The pressure from the water can help reach places along your gum line that a regular tooth brush can’t. Water picks are also easier to use than floss for people with teeth that aren’t perfectly aligned.
In less common cases, however, bad breath is an indicator of something more serious. Making an appointment with a dentist is the smartest move to ensure your methods to prevent bad breath are working. Bad breath may indicate tooth decay or gum disease, and in rare cases may be a sign of infection. If your attempts to eliminate chronic halitosis aren’t working, it may be time to see your doctor, to rule out something more systemic.