Sunday, October 23, 2011

Ways to Beat Bad Breath

Ways to Beat Bad Breath

Content provided by: Women's Health

Open wide for these tips to better oral hygiene. Your first and easiest line of defense is good oral hygiene. Cavities, tooth decay, and gum disease can all be underlying causes of odor, says Sally Cram, DDS, a Washington DC based periodontist and a consumer advocate for the American Dental Association. Brush twice a day and floss at least once daily to remove the plaque and bacteria that accumulates on your teeth and under your gumline. And be sure to visit your dentist twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning.

1. Clean Your Tongue and Floss
The fleshy surface of the tongue is a prime breeding ground for harmful bacteria and accounts for a large percentage of halitosis cases; but most people neglect this crucial area when brushing. To dislodge the offending build-up take a regular soft bristle toothbrush and make a few gentle strokes down the tongue from back to front once a day, says Cram. Depending on the anatomy of your tongue (some people have a lot of grooves) you might want to invest in a tongue scraper for more effective cleaning. Check with your dentist for the best option based on your needs.

2. Go Sugar-Free
Reaching for mints and gum can help mask that dragon breath but if you’re using sugary brands you’re actually adding to the problem. Bacteria in your mouth tend to ferment sugar which leads to those very unpleasant odors, according to Cram. So if you need a quick minty fix before locking lips with your guy make sure to stick with sugar-free solutions. And while you’re at it cutting down on sugar in the rest of your diet can go a long way in snuffing out those icky smells.
3. Wet Your Whistle
Your saliva contains vital protective enzymes that help kill bad bacteria so that means a dry mouth can be contributing to your smelly situation. Staying hydrated will help stimulate the salivary glands and keep your mouth properly moisturized. If you’re guzzling the optimal 8 glasses of H2O a day and you’re still desert-dry check for these additional issues:

4. Pass the Bread
While a low-carb, high protein diet may give you a rockin’ body, it could also be the cause of that killer bad breath according to an analysis by the Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine. The key to these diets is a fat-burning state known as ketosis when your body burns stored fats to use as fuel instead of the missing carbs. As the fat burns, chemicals called ketones accumulate in the body and are released in your breath. Since this is a metabolic problem originating in your stomach and not your mouth there’s not much you can do other than modifying your diet. So decide which is more important, your breath or your bod, then consider introducing more carbs into the mix.

5. Take a Tea Break
Drinking tea can do more than soothe your soul, according to findings presented at an annual meeting of the American Society for Microbiology. It can also help that halitosis. The research out of the University of Illinois at Chicago shows that polyphenols, chemical components found in black and green tea, can prevent both the growth of the bacteria responsible for bad breath as well as the bacteria’s production of putrid smelling compounds. So try a cup of Lemon Zinger and zap out those funky fumes!
6. Spice It Up
Cardamom, a sweet exotic spice often found in Indian cooking, has been known to contain antibacterial properties and has been used for ages as a natural breath freshener. The cardamom plant is high in a compound called cineole, a potent antiseptic that kills bacteria and alleviates bad breath. Chew on a few cardamom seeds as an alternative to mints and gum or try fennel seeds, another herbal remedy also known to work on bad breath.

7. Get a Physical
If you’ve been on top of your dental care, have tried all of the above and your breath could still peel the paint from the walls, it’s time to ring up the doc. Chronic nasty breath can be a symptom of a variety of other underlying medical issues such as diabetes, severe sinus infections, post-nasal drip, GI disorders, or liver and kidney problems.


Grand Rapids Dental June 12, 2012 at 2:36 AM  

Great tips. Thanks! I agree that having a bad breath is too embarrassing to hear especially if you are one of those highly-respected professionals. Also, other people think this problem is normal when people age. Is that true!

Muskegon MI Dental June 25, 2012 at 9:49 AM  

True. Realizing that other people are moving away because of malodorous breath impacts one's confidence and self-esteem just when trying to negotiate a busy day at the office, or out and about in public. Most of the patients complained about their insecurities due to their halitosis condition.

Dr. Paul Blank DDS July 4, 2012 at 3:46 AM  

All I can say is: bad breath shouldn't stop anyone from being their best. :D

Bonita Springs Dental Practice July 9, 2012 at 7:58 AM  

It's interesting to know that food you eat can also affect your breath. There are foods that have a more powerful smell over others that contribute to foul breath as they stay for as long as three days on your breath. Now I know.

Dentists Grand Rapids October 14, 2012 at 8:44 AM  

Mouthwash provides temporary relief but unfortunately doesn't deal with the underlying cause of the problem.

Grand Rapids Orthodontist December 14, 2012 at 12:10 PM  

True. Making juices from veggies, as well as fruits can really make a huge difference in the way you think, as well as feel each and every day.

Periodontal disease cure January 16, 2013 at 8:57 PM  

Bad breath can also be a sign of diabetes if the breath is sweet, kidney disease if it's urine-like, or liver disease or an intestinal blockage if it's foul. Bad breath can also be the result of a mouth ulcer, mouth sores or even cancer. Click here to know more about <a href='>Gum disease treatment</a>

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