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Causes and Cures for Halitosis

Updated on July 9, 2012
Halitosis can affect your social life and self esteem
Halitosis can affect your social life and self esteem

Halitosis, more often known as 'bad breath', is a relatively common affliction which many of us will have experienced, whether ourselves or when talking to others. It is not pleasant and can affect our social life and our self confidence as well.

Although many people believe that it is caused by the food that we eat, in fact, more often than not, it is caused by bacteria in our mouth that release sulphuric gases.

Dental problems are one of the major causes of halitosis; usually either dental decay or more often, gum disease.

Smoking and diet too can affect the bacteria in our mouth, smoking largely because it affects our bodies ability to cope with the bacteria, whilst certain foods are odour producing. The best known of these is perhaps garlic but others such as strong flavoured fish can have a similar effect.

Keep Up Your Dental Appointments

There are a number of ways in which you can avoid suffering from bad breath yourself. The most obvious way is to avoid the foods that cause it, stop smoking, and most importantly of all, make sure that you have a good oral care regime, brushing and flossing your teeth regularly and keeping up with your dental appointments in order to detect early signs before they become problematic.

Your dentist will be able to recommend the best method of eliminating your halitosis if a standard brush and floss is insufficient. Extra treatment may be no more intrusive than the recommendation of an anti bacterial mouthwash but if the problem is more severe, more invasive dental treatment such as a filling or even extraction may be needed.

So, providing that you take care of your teeth and keep your dental appointments, you should be able to avoid bad breath. How you eliminate the offensive breath of others though is more problematic, perhaps a quiet word if they are a good friend or if that fails, some peppermint oil on your sleeve to get rid of the smell afterwards!


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