Causes and Remedies for Bad Breath

No matter how you look at it, bad breath is a real problem. Somewhat complex, halitosis is a condition that has various causes. In order to know how to treat bad breath, one must first discover the underlying cause. Short of that, you may find yourself investing unnecessarily in vast amount of gum or breath mints – neither of which can fully remedy the problem of breath.

In most cases, bad breath originates in the mouth, which makes our job a bit easier when we set out to find the root cause and subsequently eradicate it. A common factor that may temporarily turn breath bad is food. What is interesting is that we assume that foods like onions or garlic affect the breath primarily in the mouth. The truth is, however, that foods like these enter into the blood stream and then travel to the lungs, where they are then eliminated through the breath. What this means is that your breath will be affected until an odor-causing food leaves your system, which could take up to 24 hours.

To remedy bad breath that comes from odorous foods, using neutralizing foods is beneficial. Some powerful odor neutralizers include:

  • Fresh mint
  • Fresh cilantro, parsley, or rosemary, which work to clean the palette
  • Fresh fennel seed
  • Lemon, which can be added to water during and after a meal
  • Black or green tea
  • Fresh cinnamon
  • Fresh apple, a natural toothbrush that eliminates small food particles left behind after a meal

Another common cause of bad breath is the state of one's oral health. Although we all know the recommendations – brushing twice a day and flossing every day – we may not follow them as is needed for healthy teeth and gums. Where brushing washes away food particles and some of the bacteria that naturally live in the mouth, flossing reaches into places where harmful bacteria can hide. Further, combining these two tasks reduces the risk of plaque build-up, which results in bad breath.

To maintain fresh breath, take special care to practice excellent oral hygiene that includes brushing for a full two minutes, flossing, and using an alcohol free mouthwash, as this will not leave the mouth dry. When brushing, remember the tongue, as the uneven surface provides great hiding places for odor-causing bacteria.

To maintain your best oral health, also visit your dentist regularly. To schedule your next dental evaluation, contact us today.

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