Halitosis, Anyone?

How to Avoid Clearing the Room

Everyone has had an experience with a close-talker.  His unnerving nearness is eclipsed only by his use of breathy words to tell you about…wait, what was he saying?  Nobody knows; they were all too busy holding their breath and devising an exit strategy.  Don’t be that guy; avoid social calamity by knowing what causes bad breath and if you’ve got it, you need to learn how to eliminate it before you make a ghost-town of every room you enter.

Causes Include:

  • Sulfuric foods, of course. These potent foods, such as onion and garlic,  are delicious and very good for you but they wreak havoc on your breath.  Don’t worry too much about these; the effects on your breath wear off after a couple of days.  Junk food is much more nefarious; it is both damaging to your overall health and crippling to your breath.
  • Dry mouth. Many medicines can result in dry mouth, and some mouths are naturally dry.  Both alcohol and smoking can dry the mouth as well.  This decreased saliva production promotes halitosis because saliva is the body’s natural way to rinse away and cleanse the mouth of food particles and bacteria.
  • Poor oral hygiene. This seems obvious, but even people who think they are taking care of their mouths can find themselves battling bad breath.  If the mouth isn’t properly cleaned with frequent (and correct) flossing and brushing, then halitosis is inevitable.

Eliminate bad breath with:

  • Healthy foods. This isn’t to say that the sulfuric foods which can cause halitosis aren’t healthy, they absolutely are, but junk foods have no benefit whatsoever.  Choosing healthy snacks, such as raw apples or broccoli, can actually help remove plaque from your teeth.  Foods that are rich in vitamins C and D make it difficult for bacteria to grow in the mouth.  Chewing sugar-free gum after meals also helps loosen and remove debris.
  • Water. How do keep your mouth from feeling dry?  Drink water, of course!  Water has no odor and no bacteria-feeding sugars, so it is the perfect way to rinse your mouth of food debris and bacteria.  Drinking water also helps promote saliva production to keep the mouth from getting too dry and incubating breath-tainting bacteria.
  • Good oral hygiene. Obviously, you need to floss and brush your teeth (in that order!).  But if you aren’t doing it the right way, it might do little to help your breath.  Floss your teeth at least once a day to remove food particles and bacteria from these in-between surfaces.  Make sure to get the floss down under your gums.  Next, brush your teeth at least twice a day for about 2 minutes at a time.  Use a soft-bristled brush and hold it at a 45-degree angle, making sure to get your gums as well.  And please, whatever you do, don’t forget to clean your tongue!

Save your dignity!  By knowing how to avoid or remedy bad breath, you can feel confident standing as close as you want to the people with whom you speak.  If you still find that the room clears upon your entry, come see us here at Desert Ridge Dental.

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