5 Common Causes of Bad Breath
1. Blame bacteria for bad breath. Bacteria breed inside your mouth. These micro organisms lurk between your teeth and cover your tongue. When bacteria stagnate, they multiply and give off toxins and stinky odors.
2. Say "Ahhh." The deep holes in your tonsils, called crypts, are a common cause of halitosis. If your tonsils are too wide and pitted, a cheese-like smelly substance collects in these holes. These nuggets sometimes smell, and may cause bad breath.
3. Pungent foods and bad breath. Foods such as onion, garlic, and fish can cause bad breath -- even hours after you brush your teeth.
4. Bad habits = bad breath. Any type of smoking (cigarettes, cigars, pipe) or chewing tobacco can leave you with a really nasty taste -- and smell -- in your mouth.
5. Tummy troubles. Sometimes GI problems such as GERD or an ulcer can cause bad breath when you burp and gas is released. Also blame low-carb diets, which cause ketosis, a fat-burning state in the body that produces dragon breath.
Tips to Banish Bad Breath
Now for the fix, here are some simple tips from oral health experts on how to have breath that’s "kissing fresh":
1. Oil pull with Virgin Coconut Oil. Swoosh for 10 minutes in your mouth 2 tablespoons of Virgin Coconut OIl. Spit out after. This is more effective than the conventional mouthwash. The bacteria and virus which are types of lipid just like the oil, stick to each other -thus the oil acts like a soap pulling away all the fatty dirt in the mouth. You will be surprised about how good it feels!
2. Floss once a day for fresh breath. Flossing is must-do. Flossing gets out hidden food particles and removes plaque, a coating of bacteria that forms around the tooth. Flossing also helps prevent periodontal disease -- another common cause of bad breath.
3. Brush your teeth --and tongue --twice a day to banish bad breath. While you’re brushing your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste, brush your tongue – especially the back of the tongue. Brushing your tongue will remove smelly bacteria that cause bad breath. One study found that by brushing the tongue, volunteers reduced their perception of bad breath by 70%. You can also buy inexpensive tongue scrapers at most pharmacies.
4. Drink lots of water to avert bad breath. "Lack of fluids can lead to dry mouth (xerostomia) and cause bad breath," says Murray Grossan, MD, a board certified otolaryngologist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and coauthor of The Sinus Cure. Dry mouth or reduced saliva can be the result of not drinking enough liquids, mouth breathing, or medications like antihistamines.
5. Reduce upset stomachs to ease bad breath. Over-the-counter antacids may ease a sour or acidic stomach, which can cause halitosis when you burp. If you are milk intolerant and have GI problems, try lactase tablets.
6. Check your sinuses; infections cause bad breath. Bad breath is often a clue to an underlying sinus infection. "The purulent post-nasal drip is the culprit," says William Sears, MD, also known as "America's Pediatrician," an associate clinical professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. Post-nasal drip is most noticeable after sleeping at night, which is why many people rush to brush their teeth first thing in the morning.
7. Eat yogurt for sweeter breath. Yogurt replenishes the good bacteria in the gut and "promotes a healthier mouth," McIlwain says. Sears recommends celery "to remove stinky bacteria." You may also try eating parsley between meals to fresh breath. Parsley reportedly has antibacterial and antifungal properties.
8. See your dentist. At least every six months, see your dentist for teeth cleaning and an oral exam. Your dentist can check your mouth and teeth for open cavities and gum disease that cause bad breath.
If self-care tips don’t work to stop your bad breath, also see your doctor. Occasionally bad breath is a sign of a more serious problem, such as an infection, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, or kidney or liver disease.
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