Do you feel self-conscious about your breath? Are you tired of people slowly backing away from you during conversations? Are you tired of being too afraid to introduce yourself to strangers because you know how bad your breath is? You’re not alone. In fact, about 1 in 4 people suffer from halitosis, and finding relief typically lies in understanding the common causes and cures for bad breath.
Common Causes of Halitosis
- Poor dental hygiene. Poor dental hygiene is the leading cause of halitosis. Without regular brushing and flossing, you can have a buildup of food particles that slowly break down, causing odors.
- Tobacco products. Smoking or chewing tobacco can be one of the major factors involved in bad breath. They also increase your chances of developing gum disease, which can also cause bad breath.
- Dry mouth. Saliva naturally rinses the mouth of oral bacteria that can lead to increasingly stronger bad breath. When your mouth is dry, bacteria build up and release odors that are hard to eliminate.
Cures for Halitosis
- Regular brushing and flossing. Brushing at least twice a day and regularly flossing is key in fighting bad breath. Brushing only cleans around 60% of the surface of the tooth, so flossing is important to remove the plaque and food particles between your teeth. This, along with regular check-ups and cleanings from your dentist, will go a long way in helping you avoid bad breath.
- Avoid tobacco products. Besides lowering your risk for cancer and heart disease, removing tobacco from your life will also help you avoid bad breath.
- Keep your mouth hydrated. Drinking plenty of water, avoiding anything that dehydrates your mouth, and doing things that help stimulate the creation of saliva (like chewing on sugarless gum) will help keep your breath fresh. If your mouth is chronically dry, you should visit a doctor, who may prescribe medication to help stimulate the flow of saliva.