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How to overcome bad breath

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Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a condition when your mouth produces foul or bad smell. This is an uncomfortable condition and is mostly related to poor oral hygiene and bad lifestyle. It is seen that certain foods, health conditions and habits are the prime culprits behind bad breath.

It is difficult for the person that has bad breath to know about the condition and generally family or friends are the ones that will point it out. In most cases bad breath can be treated at home without much hassle but sometimes it can also be a result of health problems of the liver, stomach, respiratory tract and kidney. In some cases bad breath can also be because of a problem with gums and in such cases consulting a dentist is must.


There are plenty of self care techniques that can take care of bad breath. (Life style changes)

Brush twice a day

Brushing at least twice a day goes a long way in treating bad breath. Brushing after your major meals like lunch and dinner helps prevent bacteria formation and also removes food particles, which may result in bad breadth. Meals leave behind a soft, sticky film of living and dead bacteria called plaque that produces a foul smell. Brushing ensures that plaque is removed from your teeth. Flossing once a day is also helpful as it removes the food trapped between your teeth, as well as the food trapped in the gum line. 


Cleaning your tongue

Tongue is also a happy residing place for bacteria. The soft groove of the tongue is conducive for bacteria to reside and people often neglect cleaning it. Cleaning the tongue everyday with soft bristles of a toothbrush helps keep bacteria away. In some cases a tongue scrapper can also be used, which may prove to be more effective in taking care of the odor causing bacteria.

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Keeping your mouth hydrated

It is important to drink plenty of water and keep hydrated. The reason we all have bad breath when we wake up is because we do not produce enough saliva when we sleep to wash away the bacteria. As a result when we wake up in the morning there is significant bacteria build up and bad smell. Keeping your body hydrated ensures there is enough saliva to push any bacteria down from your mouth and keeping your breath fresh.


Chewing Gum and Mints

Chewing gums and mints are at best temporary remedy for bad breath. Mint of chewing gum does not kill or get rid of the bacteria so bad breath will return as soon as the effect dies down. If the gum or mint contains sugar, it may prove counter productive as sugar acts as a catalyst for the bacteria to grow and multiply.


Food intake

Some food have a strong smell associated with it. Foods like onion, pepper, garlic have a strong smell that tends to linger on for long. Anyone worried about their breath should avoid such food. All types of meat, on the other hand, tend to stick between your teeth and if not removed is a fertile place for bacteria and germs to grow. This in turn leads to bad breath. It is always important to wash your mouth and floss properly after having meat.


Rinse after eating and drinking

Rinsing your mouth is the easiest and the most effortless way to remove bad breath. A simple rinse of your mouth can get rid of hundreds of bacteria after a meal. It is also helpful to rinse your mouth after a drink. This can be an alcoholic drink or non alcoholic carbonated beverages. Rinsing your mouth every time you eat or drink is a healthy habit.


Go green

Leaves like mint, parsley, basil and cilantro are all good when it comes to getting rid of bad breath. The chlorophyll and enzymes in these leaves is good at masking the bad odor and at the same time revitalizing the taste buds. Green tea, cloves and cinnamon sticks are some of the other herbal and home remedies that can be tried to reduce bad breath.


Lastly to keep bad breath away, it will be worth while to keep the following in mind:

  • Increase consumption of water.
  • Increase consumption of fruits such as apples.
  • Stop smoking and drinking alcohol.
  • Gargle on mouthwash.
  • Cut down on cheese and dairy products.
  • Check with your dentist at least every six months. 
Written by: Healthplus24 team
Date last updated: July 25, 2013