How To Manage Bad Breath - Anthony's Library and Resources

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Monday, 23 February 2015

How To Manage Bad Breath

Bad breath is when there is an unpleasant odour that usually comes from the mouth. When people exhale, the odor comes out.  Not only is it a health issue, it is also a social issue as well. People get turned off by those that have bad breath when they open their mouth.

How To Check For Bad Breath
There are different ways to determine whether or not you have bad breath.  Here are some ways that you can do this:

This is about the easiest way for you to find out if you have bad breath.  Breathe on the back of your hands.  You will automatically smell the odour as it comes out of your mouth.  This can determine how your breath really smells.

Did you know that saliva has an odour?  Well, if you didn’t, you do now.  You hope that when you conduct this test that your breath will not have a foul odour.  To do this, you will slightly lick your wrist or the back of your hand.  Give it a few seconds and then take a whiff.  If you don’t smell anything, then you should be ok.  If you do, check with your dentist and get help.

You can use a spoon or a tongue scraper to test your breath.  Scrape your tongue at the front and back.  Do each area one at a time.  Smell the area in question on the spoon or the scraper and see how it smells.  If it is a foul smell, then you may have chronic bad breath (halitosis).

Check to see if you have any black spots on your teeth.  If you do, it could be a sign that you may have bad breath.  You may end up having tooth and gum problems that could also lead to bad breath due to bacteria that has formed. 

Consult with your dentist to provide treatment to those areas that are affected so you can head off a potential bout of bad breath. 

Halitosis is when you have chronic bad breath.  Now that’s worse when it’s chronic.  Whether it happens a few times or it’s a continuous problem, people should find ways to get rid of it.  As for the cause of bad breath, there are different reasons why it’s happening.

Causes Of Bad Breath
Food – When you eat, the food particles that remain in and around your teeth can cause an odour in your mouth.  Of course, everyone knows that eating onions (raw ones, especially) and garlic are some of the worst culprits. After you have digested these foods and smelly oils, they penetrate through your blood.  Then they travel to your lungs and come up in your breath when you open your mouth.  It’s possible to have an onion or garlic smell for at least three days.

Dental issues – Periodontal disease, which occurs from poor dental hygiene, can also cause bad breath.  Food particles will remain in your mouth if you don’t brush and floss daily. You’ll probably have to brush and floss several times a day.  If the food particles remain in your mouth, they will absorb bacteria. You may experience plaque on your teeth.  If you don’t brush your teeth properly or not enough the plaque can mess with your gums. You can end up getting gingivitis and tooth decay.  Pockets can form between your teeth and gums. This condition is called periodonitis. Peridonitis can cause the bad breath to linger.

Dry mouth – The inside of your mouth should always be moist with saliva.  Saliva is used to clean your mouth.  If you don’t have any saliva circulating on the inside, dead cells will gather on your tongue.  They can also come on your cheeks and gums.  This condition is called dry mouth. Once the dead cells accumulate, they start to deteriorate, causing a foul odour inside of the mouth. This condition usually happens when a person is sleeping. If you sleep with your mouth open, you are more prone to get dry mouth.  When you wake up in the morning, dry mouth can also cause what is known as “morning breath.”

Chronic diseases – Certain chronic lung ailments such as infections and abscesses can emit foul odours as you open your mouth.  If you have chronic kidney failure, you could have an odour that smells like urine. A fishy odour could be the result of chronic liver ailments.  Those that have diabetes have a fruity odour.  Also, some stomach ailments have been linked to bad breath.
 
Nose and throat infections – A person can also have bad breath from allergies. Sinus infections cause a nasal discharge.  It goes from the back of the throat and trickles downward.  This can cause a foul odour.  You can also have bad breath if you have upper respiratory ailments in which you cough up mucus.

Tobacco – If you smoke cigarettes, it causes your mouth to be dry.  Smoking causes an unpleasant odour after you have puffed on a cigarette.  If you are a smoker, there is a greater chance for you to get periodontal disease, which would be a double whammy because that also causes bad breath.

Extreme dieting – If you use a special diet or fasting to lose weight, you may have a fruity breath. This is a result of developing ketoacidosis, which is when the chemicals break down while you’re fasting.

Milk – If you find out that you’re intolerant of milk, then you’ll have to get rid of it.  You can develop bad breath if you’re consuming milk or dairy products that you can’t digest.

Alcohol – Drinking alcohol can cause health issues with your digestive system.  It also causes dry mouth, which can lead to bad breath.

Stress – You probably would have never thought that stress could cause bad breath, but it can.  When you’re stressed out, your digestive system is affected, which triggers bad breath. 

Getting Rid Of Bad Breath

Oral Hygiene
Regular oral hygiene is very important for your dental health as well as your regular health.  With oral hygiene, you need to focus on three key areas of your mouth:  the teeth, gums and tongue.  It’s important to brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day. 

Make sure that you brush your teeth after you eat.  If you work away from home, take a toothbrush with you so you can brush after you eat lunch. 

You need to use floss at least once a day, maybe more.  Flossing helps to remove food particles that are stuck in your teeth.  It also helps to remove plaque.  It is very important to get rid of any plaque that is on your teeth because not only can it cause periodontal disease, it can also cause heart disease and other heart ailments.

As weird as it may sound, brushing your teeth can remove dead cells from your tongue.  It also works to remove any leftover food particles and bacteria. To do this, use a toothbrush with a soft bristle or a tongue scraper. 

Go as far back into the mouth as you can.  Try it without gagging.  You will find that most of the bacteria are settled toward the back.  If you wear dentures, make sure you clean them thoroughly.  They should be cleaned at least once a day.

When you brush your teeth, use a brush with small bristles.  Change out your toothbrush at least every four months.

See your dentist on a regular basis.  You should have your teeth or dentures cleaned and checked twice a year, if not more.

If you have cavities, make an appointment with your dentist to have them filled.  Cavities are also an opening to allow bacteria in, which in turn can cause bad breath. 

After you’ve eaten breakfast, use a water pik to clean your mouth as well as get rid of any food particles left behind. 

Swish water in your mouth after you eat a meal.  You will be able to get rid of some of the food particles that were stuck in your teeth.  Using a solution mixed with water, you can also treat periodontal disease.

You can also choose to use natural oral hygiene remedies to get rid of bad breath. Using baking soda and hydrogen peroxide can do wonders.  If you really want to sanitize your mouth, use a natural remedy by adding some antiseptic tree oil or eucalyptus oil. 

You only want to add a little oil on your toothbrush.  You can also go to the health food store to get natural toothpaste remedies.

To sanitize your toothbrush, place it in a container of hydrogen peroxide to keep your toothbrush bacteria-free.  When you get ready to brush your teeth, rinse the toothbrush very well.

Work to keep your mouth free of food particles, especially those that get stuck in your teeth and pocket areas.  Try not to make it a habit to eat spicy foods that have onions and garlic in them.

Put a small portion of fresh parsley or a small mint (sugarless) in your mouth.  You may notice an improvement in your breath.

Drink lots of water to keep the inside of your mouth moist.  You can also produce saliva by chewing sugarless gum or candy.  If your mouth is always dry, you can get a prescription of artificial saliva preparation or an oral prescription that produces saliva in your mouth. 

People use tongue scrapers to get rid of bad breath.  They can be purchased at pharmacies and they come in different shapes and sizes.  The scraper is placed at the back of the tongue.  The tongue and the scraper are bought forward.  This can be repeated as many times as needed. 

Some people say that this method helps a little to eliminate bad breath.  There are others who prefer using a toothbrush to remove the bacteria from the tongue.  It’s in order to use a tongue scraper, but it’s even better to implement dental hygiene on a regular basis.  Make sure along with brushing your teeth that you also brush your tongue after you eat.

Keeping saliva in your mouth keeps bacteria away by drinking lots of water.  Try not to get the mouthwash at the drugstore. That mouthwash is usually concentrated with alcohol.  Alcohol dries your mouth and can produce bacteria. 

Also, mouthwash that contains more than 25% of alcohol is believed to contribute to oral cancer.  Look for a mouthwash that has a mixture of at least half hydrogen peroxide and half water.  Take a little bit and swish it in your mouth for about 30 seconds.

Since bacteria are what cause the bad breath to form, you have to counteract it with things that don’t promote it.  Many people don’t know this, but the bacteria lives underneath your tongue. 

You can also find bacteria on your tonsils and your throat.  This means that you cannot easily get rid of it.  So, in order to combat that, people use mouthwash that contains alcohol.  In turn, you end up getting dry mouth and more bacteria to form.

If you are a smoker, learn to kick the habit.  Tobacco related products are not good for you health wise, even with the bad breath. Avoid consuming liquids that have a bad smell.  The smell can linger in your mouth.  Stick with water and go easy on juice and liquor.

If you don’t gargle, now is a good time to start.  There may be some difficult places where bacteria can creep in while you’re sleeping.  Do it for at least 30 seconds each morning and get as close to the bottom of your throat as you can.  Make sure to rinse after you’ve finished getting all of the bacteria and other elements out. Since salt is used to kill bacteria, mixing it with water can help to eliminate bad breath and halitosis. 

Digestive System
Your digestive system can also be a cause of bad breath.  You will need to improve it by watching what you eat.  What you eat is crucial because it will determine whether or not it will help to eliminate bad breath.  Here are some things that you can do to keep your digestive system in tact:

Have a high-fiber diet that includes whole grains, along with fresh fruits and vegetables. These foods usually digest better than those that are not high in fiber.

If you don’t have enough enzymes to digest properly, you need to take no more than four tablets of enzymes for each major meal.  You may not have enough hydrochloric acid.  To get more in your system, you can use apple cider vinegar.  Take one tablespoon before you eat a major meal.  You can also use betaine or pepsin tablets before you eat in order to help your digestive system to work.

You can also get bad breath from lack of regular bowel movements (constipation).  You need to drink at least eight glasses of water (eight ounces) every day.

Quick Remedies For Bad Breath

Drink water.  Water can help to clean your mouth for a period of time.  Your breath will be fresh.  It will help you if you have to talk to someone on a moment’s notice.  Or if you feel you have dry mouth, then drink water to keep your mouth moist. 

Dry mouth and bad breath work hand in hand because of the bacteria that form inside.  To give the water flavor, squeeze some juice from a lemon or a lime. 

Having a piece of candy or gum can also help you at the last minute.  If you can find a piece, quickly put it in your mouth.  Your breath will be fresh at least for that period of time.  If you start talking, don’t have the piece of candy swirling in your mouth.

In addition to drinking water, you can also use water to rinse your mouth.  If you have a toothbrush handy, you can quickly brush your teeth and use clean tissue to wipe off the residue.  This is a good strategy if you haven’t made it to your destination and you’re not near a rest room.

You can quickly scrape your tongue with a scraper or a spoon.  The thing about doing this is you will have to go somewhere in private.  If you can find a bathroom, then you can attempt to do this.  If you have any white spots on your tongue, remove them with the scraper or the spoon.

If you don’t have any mints or gum while you’re out eating, you can eat the parsley that is used for decoration with your meal.  Don’t do this in front of anyone.  Excuse yourself and go to the bathroom. 

Chew on the parsley for a few minutes.  You may have to rinse out your mouth before you go back.  You don’t want people to see any green particles on your teeth.

If you drink alcohol, you’ll like this one.  If you drink a small shot of whiskey, you can get away with getting rid of your bad breath for a while.  It’s been said that whiskey can get rid of germs that are on your teeth.  This is not a promotion of drinking alcohol, but it’s been said to work, so it’s your choice whether or not you want to try this.  The only caution is not to drink a lot of it, or you could become rather intoxicated.

When You Should Seek Medical Assistance
If you have bad breath that won’t go away and you can’t figure out why, or you have bad breath along with a health ailment, then you should consult a physician.  If you have to see a dentist, they will check your mouth to see what’s going on.  In order to do that, your dentist may use an instrument to test for bad breath.  One instrument that they use is called the halimeter.

A halimeter is a machine that records a reading of your breath using a tube.  You blow into the tube as you would a breathalyzer machine.  If you suspect that you have bad breath or chronic halitosis, your dentist may have you test your breath on a regular basis. 

The dentist can also determine what is actually causing you to have bad breath.  Some of them include hydrogen sulfide and dimethyl sulfide.  When you know what chemicals are causing your unfortunate dilemma, you can make changes to what you do on a daily basis. 

As your dentist sees what enzymes and chemicals are in your breath, they will be able to provide the proper treatment for your condition.   The downside to these tests is that they can only be performed at the dentist’s office.   

In addition to the halimeter, your dentist may use other testing, such as gas chromatography and the BANA test, just to name a few.  

How To Prevent Or Stop Bad Breath
As noted earlier in this report, chronic halitosis is caused by lack or regular oral hygiene.  You have to brush and floss your teeth at least twice each day.  If you already have bad breath, you can work to get rid of it by starting this regimen as soon as possible.

Flossing
Flossing is for cleaning your teeth in areas where your toothbrush cannot get to.  Such areas include the pockets (the spaces between the teeth) and anywhere else where it is difficult for your toothbrush to reach. 

You should floss first and then use your toothbrush.  If you do the opposite, you may miss some spots between your teeth.  Once they sit there, they can turn into plaque.  If not removed in time, plaque will cause your teeth to rot and end up with periodontal or gum disease. 

Flossing can remove food particles that were stuck in between your teeth while you were eating.  Flossing can help you in your cardiovascular health as well as your dental health.  Regular flossing can help prevent the onset of a stroke or heart attack.  This is a very good reason why flossing should be part of anyone’s daily dental hygiene routine.

In order to floss correctly, place the floss in the space between your teeth.  Move the floss within the space using an up and down motion.  The best way to remove the particles is to floss all of the sides of your teeth.  

If you’re not sure what to use, your dentist or dental assistant will be able to help you find the right flossing tool for your teeth.  There are various kinds of floss available.  You can get waxes or unwaxed floss. 

There are different strengths such as super thin and super strong. You can also get floss that is flavored with peppermint or regular mint if that’s what you want.  You can also use dental floss holders if you need something sturdy to hold the floss in. 

When you go to the dentist for a checkup, you can get complimentary floss from them.  Waxed floss is better for you because it is easier to use.  Along with that, your breath can smell minty fresh with the flavored wax. 

Brushing
When you brush your teeth, it has to be done the right way.  You can’t just go over them once and think that’s it.  A lot of people don’t take the time to brush their teeth properly.  The proper way to brush your teeth is to have your toothbrush at an angle of 45 degrees.  You start brushing from the bottom going upward.  You would start with your lower gums going upward to the top of your lower teeth. 

Then you would brush downward from the top of the lower teeth.  You should also brush your teeth on the outside using the same method.  Brushing in this manner will help to move the plaque from your gums. 

When plaque hits your gums, it can cause gum disease.  Also brush where you chew in a horizontal direction.  Finally, brush the chewing surfaces of your teeth with a horizontal movement. In order to see results, you must make sure that you floss and brush on a regular basis every day.  If you don’t, your chances of getting rid of bad breath are slim.


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