Halitosis treatment

Halitosis is not fun for anyone: the individual who has it will be embarrassed and those around him or her will be mortified by the stench. Halitosis, or bad breath, is a term used to describe an unpleasant odor on the breath. From a medical standpoint, it is not really a problem, but from a social standpoint, it certainly can be. Knowing what causes halitosis can be a great thing so you can take preventative measures. Treating halitosis can be done easily; it is just a matter of taking the initiative, finding the cause, and getting it under control.

Causes of halitosis
Halitosis has a variety of causes: the diet, dry mouth, tobacco products, or some type of medical disorder. If an individual does not practice proper oral hygiene, bad breath can result.

When we eat, food particles get lodged and stuck in our mouth, in our teeth, and between our teeth. When we don’t brush and floss regularly, the particles remain in these places, which essentially becomes a breeding ground for bacteria. The particles will rot, and a foul odor will undoubtedly be produced; the particles will eventually promote the growth of bacteria, which can also produce a foul odor. Certain foods themselves can make the air a person exhales foul smelling: garlic, onion, some spices, certain cheeses, fish, and coffee.

Dry mouth
This is a condition marked by the decreased production of saliva. Saliva is a part of the digestive process and helps to clean the mouth; when it isn’t present in sufficient quantities, the food particles and bacteria will be stuck there.

Tobacco products
If you’ve ever been around a smoker, you know that tobacco products can cause bad breath. Smoking and chewing tobacco are causes of bad breath.

Medical disorders
Certain medical conditions may cause bad breath: gum or periodontal infection, throat infection, respiratory infection, chronic sinusitis, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastroesophageal reflux disease, liver or kidney disease, and lactose intolerance.

Halitosis treatment
There are different treatments available for halitosis.

Good oral hygiene
Practicing proper oral hygiene techniques is important for not only the health of your mouth, but for preventing halitosis. Hopefully, if you already have problems with bad breath, refining your oral hygiene habits will make the bad breath go away. Brush your teeth at least twice daily (when you wake up and before you go to bed) for 2 minutes and floss once a day; it is a good idea to brush your teeth after every meal. Also, use a fluoride toothpaste. Not only should you be brushing your teeth, but scrub your tongue as well. After 2 or 3 months, replace your toothbrush.

Stop using tobacco products
It makes sense that since tobacco products can cause halitosis, stopping the use of such products will make the bad breath go away.

Stop eating problem foods

Not that the foods listed above as causes for bad breath are unhealthy, but they can certainly cause a nasty odor of the mouth and, therefore, the breath. If you stop eating these foods you can eliminate the bad breath that comes from them. That, or brush immediately after eating them.

Keep your mouth moist
Drink plenty of water to rinse the mouth of leftover food particles; also, you can stimulate saliva production by chewing sugar-free gum.

Special mouthwash and toothpaste
Your dentist may be able to prescribe you a special toothpaste and mouthwash to get rid of bad breath.

See your dentist regularly
It is important to go to the dentist for a check-up twice a year (every 6 months) so he or she can catch and medical problems that would be a cause of halitosis. Also, seeing a dentist for a regular cleaning will keep you free of cavities.

Home remedies
There are a few home remedies that you might want to try:

  • Brush with baking soda (or use a toothpaste with baking soda in it) to reduce the acidity in the mouth and make it hard for bacteria to grow.
  • Brush and rinse with hydrogen peroxide, but don’t swallow it.
  • Gargle with warm saltwater.
Last updated on Dec 31st, 2010 and filed under Dental Health. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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