Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tips to Rid Your Mouth of Bad Breath

We all get bad breath from time to time, but if loved ones are complaining about the way your mouth smells, chances are good that your co-workers are also getting an unpleasant whiff when you're nearby. Not only is bad breath (or halitosis, as the condition is known medically) embarrassing, it can be hurtful, especially if your significant others are recoiling from you each time you try to get intimate.

Fortunately, there are some simple fixes and behavior adjustments that can help you control the odors from your mouth. Here are a few tips:

Stay hydrated

The dreaded morning breath stink that we're all accustomed to is often a result of sleeping with your mouth gaping open. A dry mouth (xerostomia) or problems with salivary glands means there's less saliva around to naturally cleanse our teeth, gums, tongues and cheeks of dead cells, acid and plaques that have accumulated.

Decomposition of these cells can lead to foul odors when we exhale. Drinking more water and chewing sugarless gum throughout the day can stimulate saliva production and wash away those particles.

Target your tongue

A twice-daily oral hygiene might include brushing and flossing, but are you ignoring your tongue? There are billions of bacteria on its surface and although bad breath isn't exactly visible, the forming of a yellow or brown film on the tongue can be a solid indicator of nasty odors. A good way to eliminate bad breath is to add tongue scraping to your regular oral hygiene routine or to brush your tongue.

Watch your diet

Obviously, the common culprits contributing to nasty breath are foods such as onions, garlic and coffee. To combat bad breath with food, choose fresh and fibrous and abrasive foods like celery, apples and carrots, which will also help to dislodge food particles from your teeth. Vitamin C-rich foods such berries, melons and citrus foods like oranges also help to sterilize our mouths and prevent bacteria production.

Stop smoking

Quitting tobacco products is a good start if you want to ward off objectionable breath. Smoking cigarettes can cause plaque buildup. Repetitive inhalation of hot gases can also dry out your tongue and pungent chemicals from the cigarette may also linger inside your mouth. Smokers are also more susceptible to periodontal disease and gingivitis.

Swing by the dentist's office

Mouthwashes and mints may only go so far to mask offensive smells. If you followed the above steps and you still suffer from bad breath, a professional cleaning at the dentist may be in order. Regular dental checkups may also lead to the diagnosis of a medical disorder that may be linked with bad breath such as acid reflux.

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