If you’ve ever had a chance to speak to someone with halitosis (bad breath), then you know how unpleasant it can be for someone on the receiving end of it. Now imagine if you were the person with bad breath, and it is the other person who is uncomfortably shifting away from your vicinity. Embarrassing, right?
Unfortunately, as much as one in four people are suffering from halitosis on a daily basis. It is a problem that seems so minor, yet can cause major strains in interpersonal relationships. Imagine trying to sell a product, or interview for a job, or meet new people, all with bad breath; it’s just not going to happen. You absolutely do not want to be on the receiving end of a look of disgust due to your bad breath.
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What Causes Halitosis (Bad Breath)?
One can contract halitosis through a variety of things, but the most common mistake is simply due to neglecting one’s oral hygiene. If bacteria is allowed to accumulate in your mouth, it will cause your breath to smell foul.
Bacteria disintegrate small pieces of food in the mouth, which causes a release in rancid-smelling gas. Any pieces of food that remain in your teeth will be reduced by the bacteria, which releases the gas. Chronic halitosis may be the result of gum disease.
Strongly flavored foods, like garlic and onions, will cause your breath to smell when eaten, as will consuming an excessive amount of alcohol or smoking.
Sometimes, bad breath might result shortly after an illness or infection, or perhaps as a side effect of ingesting a particular medication.
Treatment and Prevention of Halitosis
Typically, focusing on one’s oral hygiene is sufficient in treating bad breath and preventing it from occurring ever again.
Simply follow the advice that your dentist gives you regarding daily maintenance of your teeth:
- Brush your teeth at least twice daily
- Floss at least once daily
- Clean your tongue
For more information on treatment and prevention, read this.
Seeing a GP
If you are still suffering from halitosis after applying the steps above, then it is recommended that you see your general practitioner. When improving one’s oral hygiene fails to deliver results, the problem may be a medical cause that is worth a trip to the doctor’s office.
When visiting, do not try to mitigate the smell of your breath prior to seeing the doctor or dentist, as this will make it harder for them to determine the cause of the problem.
How Can I Tell If I Have Bad Breath?
It’s not always so simple to tell when you have bad breath since you may not be able to smell it yourself, and others may feel uncomfortable letting you know.
One simple method to determine if you have bad breath, without causing any embarrassment, is to lick the inside of your wrist with the bottom of your tongue. Wait a few seconds to allow the saliva to dry up. Now smell it, and if you notice an unpleasant smell, it is likely that your breath smells the same way.