Get rid of that nasty breath (halitosis) by checking out the underlying factors that cause it, determine what bad habits you have that might be contributing and take quick action to change them.
For some, solving it can be a matter of sticking to a regular oral hygiene regimen; sometimes just cutting out some of the crappy food you gobble down will get you improvements; but after taking these steps and your bad breath is still knocking people out, it’s best to see a dentist because the culprit may be an underlying health condition.
More than 90 percent of all cases of chronic bad breath originate in the mouth, not in the stomach, like many people think. Virtually all bad breath cases are caused by nasty bacteria that hide out and multiply under the gums, in the spaces between teeth and on the tongue.
Excellent oral hygiene, first and foremost, is the first way to nip the problem. Are you brushing your teeth for at least 2 minutes twice a day? Don’t forget to brush that tongue as well because rank bacteria thrive there. Careful not to gag yourself!
Next, flossing is a must to remove the stinky, rotting chunks of food stuck between your teeth. Mouthwash is only a temporary fix, but if you use one look for an antiseptic and plaque-reducing one with approval from the American Dental Association (ADA).
Not only do you have to maintain a regular dental routine, you’re really going to have to watch your diet. Don’t think you’re going to be able to drink coffee all morning, eat garbage for lunch and not offend someone that afternoon. Certain foods, especially ones like garlic and onion, can contribute to bad breath because of the pungent oils they contain, which cling to areas in the mouth. Coffee creates funk because the acid in it decreases oxygenation in the mouth, which in turn, increases bacteria production. Alcohol will make breath smelly too because it dries out the mouth, decreasing saliva production, which serves as a lubricant to cleanse and remove food particles. And of course, smoking those Marlboros will give you horrific breath. That’s a no-brainer.
If you’ve taken all these steps and that awful odor still lingers, maybe it’s time to consider whether a health issue is at play. Talk to your dentist. A whole slew of factors may be contributing: gum disease, conditions associated with respiratory infections, diabetes, gastrointestinal, liver and kidney disorders, among tons of others. Even certain medications will contribute because many of them dry out the mouth, so saliva production is compromised.
Dr. Phillip Katz is an advanced trained General Dentist in Pickerington, Ohio. He studied dentistry at The Ohio State University College of Dentistry and has amassed hundreds of hours of advanced training in the areas of dental implants, veneers, sedation dentistry, and cosmetic dentistry. He provides dental services to patients in Pickerington, Columbus, and surrounding Ohio communities.