What to do about bad breath

No one likes bad breath! Although there are a number of remedies for treating this issue, you'll want to pinpoint the cause. Bad breath can sometimes be the cause of health conditions, so you'll want to rule out any possibilities. Or, figure out which habits you can change to avoid it.

Causes of bad breath
Some of the triggers for a foul mouth are rather surprising and others may require medical assistance. Yours may be due to:

  • Poor oral health habits. If you don't brush and floss your teeth daily, bacteria will grow between your teeth and around the gums – resulting in bad breath. Those who wear dentures are also at risk for odor-causing bacteria when they aren't cleaned properly.1
  • Use of tobacco products. Smoking and chewing tobacco are two causes of gum disease, which is a common cause of bad breath. Additionally, you are at risk of staining your teeth.
  • Medications. There are some prescriptions that may have a side effect of dry mouth and therefor bad breath. Also, some medications release chemicals that are carried to the mouth and may leave an undesirable odor behind.2
  • Your diet. Those who choose not to eat breakfast are at a greater risk of bacterial buildup in the mouth. Enjoying a meal in the morning gets your saliva production up and running, which removes stinky germs from the young. Other dieting habits that can lead to bad breath include high-protein foods and dairy products. These items contain a lot of amino acids, which breed bacteria. Although a low-carb diet may be ideal for your waistline, it can let off toxic-smelling ketones as stored fat is burned.3
  • Medical issues. In addition to dry mouth, gum disease, oral yeast infections, respiratory tract infections, diabetes, acid reflux, and kidney or liver problems may all cause bad breath.

Some cases of bad breath can be eased with a stick of gum, mouthwash and proper oral hygiene, but that's not always true.

Cures for bad breath
Those who are looking to rid themselves of bad breath may want to try one of these suggestions:

  • Schedule an appointment with your dentist. If plaque buildup is the cause of your unwanted odor, it may need to be removed by a professional. Going in for routine cleanings can help keep bacteria in your mouth under control – aim for biannual appointments.
  • If you're prone to having sinus infections, you might want to talk to an ear, nose and throat doctor about how to remove the bacteria that is building up in your nasal cavities. These can secrete through your nasal passages and into your mouth, resulting in bad breath.4
  • Drink plenty of fluids to help keep your saliva production balanced. Additionally, you can use a humidifier in the winter months to help keep the air moist and prevent you from developing dry mouth.5

You can also use other dental products such as tongue cleaners to help remove bacteria from your moth. Be sure to purchase a new toothbrush every 3 to 4 months, or sooner if it becomes frayed.

Patients suffering from diabetes are at risk for developing bad breath and can contact Medex Supply for diabetic supplies such as insulin syringes and infusion sets.

1 WebMD, "Dental health and bad breath" May 7, 2012
2 Mayo Clinic, "Bad breath: Causes" December 18, 2012
3 U.S. News & World Report, "8 surprising causes of bad breath" December 8, 2008
4 LiveScience, "5 surprising ways to banish bad breath" September 30, 2013
5 MSN Healthy Living, "Bad breath: 5 causes and 5 cures"

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