Bad breath - Do´s and Don´ts

    avoid bad breathBad breath is a common condition, with a significant impact - personally and socially - on those who suffer from it.
    There are quite a few misconceptions and information based on hearsay, rather than real science, sometimes even among medical professionals.
    So - what can be done to avoid bad breath?
    • Make sure you have bad breath: Research shows that people who are concerned about having bad breath tend to lose objectivity. Asking a good friend or a relative (your ´confidant´) to help you diagnose whether or not you have bad breath is an important first step. If you do have bad breath, your confidant can also help provide feedback on whether the treatments you choose are having the desired effect.
    • Maintain proper oral hygiene: Brush your teeth after each meal (or at least twice a day), and be sure to floss between your teeth (have you ever tried to smell the floss after you use it? Now THAT´s what bad breath is like!)
    • Clean your tongue: the main origin for bad breath (about 70% of the cases, according to most researchers in this field) is the very back part of the tongue, where naturally-occurring bacteria, food remnants, dead epithelial cells and postnasal drip, accumulate. Gently cleaning the back surface of the tongue twice a day with a tongue cleaner helps wipe off the odor-causing layer.
    • Drink water: oral dryness is a major contributor to bad breath, and maintaining the body water level helps avoid that.
    • Chew sugarless gum: Promoting saliva flow helps cleanse the mouth, wash away the bacteria and food remnants, and reduce bad breath as a result. Make sure, though, not to chew gum too often, and to chew for no longer than 5 minutes, or else it may affect the Temporo-Mandibular joint (TMJ). Some chewing gums contain essential oils or flavors that help reduce bad breath.
    • Eat a healthy breakfast: Eating a wholesome meal, especially in the morning, is important to reduce bad breath – the food removes the accumulated bacteria from the surface of the tongue.
    • Gargle an effective mouthwash: gargling right before bedtime with an effective mouthwash can help reduce malodor during the night, and so make “morning breath” a lot better.
    kiss bad breath goodbye
    • Control your alcohol-drinking habits: research shows correlations between alcohol drinking and bad breath– probably because it dries the mouth and because bacteria can convert the alcohol to foul-smelling gases such as acetaldehyde. Who knows? Alcohol-containing mouthrinses may also contribute to this phenomenon.
    • Don´t smoke: smoking dries the mouth and promotes accumulation of plaque, and postnasal drip which can contribue to bad breath.
    • Don´t overeat: An article that was recently published in the Journal of Dental Research indicates that there´s a correlation between bad breath and obesity.
    • Don´t miss your regular dental check-ups: Your dentist and dental hygienist will help you maintain good oral health, reduce plaque and dental calculus (tartar) levels, teach you to brush and floss properly, and avoid dental problems that are one of the main causes for halitosis.
    • Don´t be misled by biased information: Some websites and products are not based on scientific research and facts, but rather on the ability to scare people and make money in that process. It is always advised to consult with your dentist about the various methods of treating bad breath, and not to believe everything you see written on a label or on biased websites.
    • Don´t search too far: It is agreed among most researchers and clinicians that halitosis originates from the mouth or the nose in about 90% of instances (you can read more about it on our article about the origins of bad breath). Trying to treat the stomach or to affect your bloodstream is probably just going to cost you money and not have any appreciable effect on your breath.
    Got more to tell us? enter the bad breath forum and share with everyone!
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