Halitosis is a condition in which a person has bad-smelling breath for a long period. Foul breath for a short period of time is normal after you eat certain foods such as onions or garlic. However, if you have a foul scent to your breath on a daily basis, you may be suffering from chronic halitosis.
Causes of Halitosis
One of the main causes of halitosis is poor dental hygiene. Tooth decay, infection, and abscesses can cause a bad scent to your breath. Other conditions such as gingivitis and periodontitis can cause undesirable scents to develop, as well. Plaque buildup is another culprit that causes halitosis.
Cigarette smoking can cause bad breath as the nicotine and tars begin to invade the crevices of the teeth. A person who smokes without flossing can experience this type of buildup, causing him or her to have halitosis.
Certain illnesses can contribute to halitosis. Common colds, sinus infections, diabetes, pneumonia, and acid reflux can cause serious cases of halitosis. Bad breath that comes from temporary illness will subside when the body restores itself. Halitosis from a long-term illness, such as diabetes, may not be so easy to control.
Halitosis Treatment and Prevention
You can prevent a case of halitosis from occurring by brushing for at least two minutes every day with a plaque-fighting toothpaste. Brush your tongue for at least 45 seconds. The tongue holds a great deal of bacteria on it. Therefore, ignoring it during cleaning can lead to foul-smelling breath even after a lengthy tooth brushing session.
Special lubricating mouthwashes such as Biotene can help to keep the PH balance of the mouth in normal range. Such mouthwash can loosen up plaque on the teeth and promote the production of saliva, which helps to eliminate bacteria. Flossing is something that you should do every day to prevent halitosis, as well. See a dentist at least once every six months for a checkup and professional cleaning.
A dentist can prescribe medication for a tooth infection. He or she can rid the patient of decay by cleaning it out and placing a filling on a tooth with a large cavity.
You can fight halitosis with home remedies such as baking soda, green tea and peppermint. Green tea has antibacterial properties in it, so sipping it throughout the day can eliminate bad breath. Peppermint has properties that can settle the stomach and ease acid reflux situations. Cinnamon is one of the best natural bad breath repellents. You can find cinnamon sticks at the local grocery store.
Finally, staying hydrated on a daily basis can eliminate your halitosis. The general rule for liquid intake is to drink eight glasses of water per day. For extra precaution, rinse with water after eating each meal.