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Treating Halitosis/Bad Breath

Updated on May 2, 2013


Halitosis or bad breath is unappealing smells exhaled when you breath. This is one of the most common reasons people have dental aid. Bad breath is mainly caused by buildups of bacteria in your mouth that can cause inflammation. 90% of bad breath comes from the mouth and is usually intensified after eating foods such as onions or fish.


Morning And Chronic Bad Breath

Everyone gets bad breath after waking up, also called "Morning Breath". This is because your mouth is inactive during the night and gets less oxygen than it normally would. Chronic Bad Breath is a slightly more serious condition. About 25% of people suffer from this. This is caused from bacteria creating packets of plaque between your teeth and gums over time. There are ways to treat this, and will be discussed below.



Checking For Bad Breath

The best thing to do first is to check if you have bad breath. Your breath might stink and you don't even know it! Better safe than sorry! You cannot check your breath by breathing into your hands and smelling. However, there are a number of tests you can do to check for halitosis. The most effective way is check with a halimeter at your dentist's office. However if you want a quick easy way to check there are a number of home tests you can do to test for rank breath.

  1. The Lick Test: Lick the back of your hand and wait about 10 seconds as it dries then smell it. If there's an odor you may have bad breath.
  2. The Cotton Test: This home test is pretty accurate. Just rub a cotton gauze along the surface of your tongue and smell it. Bad odors and maybe a yellowish stain will indicate bad breath.
  3. White Tongue Test: Stand in front of a mirror and stick your tongue out as far as possible. If the top of your tongue is white, especially in the back you may have bad breath.
  4. Cup Test: Breath into a cup as if you were blowing up a balloon. Smell the cup. If it smells bad, your breath may be bad.
  5. Spoon Test: Take a metal spoon and scrape as far back on your tongue as you can. Whatever the spoon smells like is probably what your breath smells like.


Preventing Bad Breath

The best way to have fresh breath is by preventing bad breath. The most important thing is to see your dentist regularly. Have an appointment about every six months or at the very least once a year. Seeing your dentist regularly is not enough to prevent bad breath. You must be in the habit of keeping good oral hygiene. You should try to brush and floss after every meal, but if this is not possible try to at least brush twice a day and floss daily. Also think about what you eat. Certain foods affect your breath because the nutrients that are absorbed by your bloodstream are later exhaled through you lungs. Fasting and low carb diets are culprits of halitosis. Also foods such as onions, garlic, and fish are very common bad breath causers. The best foods to eat for good breath are watery fruits and vegetables, such as apples, oranges, and celery.



Cures For Bad Breath

Well apparently you have bad breath. No worries! There are multiple ways to rid yourself of bad breath.

  1. Hydration: Hydration is very important all the time. If don't get the chance to brush your teeth after a spicy meal, drink a lot of water. It will help rinse out odor causing bacteria in your mouth. Also milk is a great way to remove odors from your mouth
  2. Sugarless gum and breath mints: This is a great quick fix. It won't remove bacteria, but it will mask unwanted odors. Also the gum will help with saliva production that really helps with bad breath.
  3. Brush with baking soda: You don't have to do this everyday, but once a week or two will do wonders for bad breath. Plus it will help whiten your teeth!
  4. Chlorophyll: This can be taken in liquid or capsule form. It works as a great breath freshener. If you don't want to take pure chlorophyll, just eat some fresh parsley!
  5. Ora-brush: This tool is great for breath. 90% of bad breath from bacteria found on your tongue. This tool is inexpensive, easy to use, and very effective. You can buy one online or at a local Walmart. I will provide a link to the Ora-brush website below, where you can find all the information on the Ora-brush.

Electric Toothbrush



The best toothbrush you can use is an electric toothbrush. First of all a lot of people don't brush there teeth for the entire time they should. Most electric toothbrushes have timers, so you know how long you've been brushing. Also the bristles on electric toothbrushes have the same motion every time, and are more efficient than manual toothbrushes.However if for whatever reason you want to use a manual toothbrush some great brands are Colgate, Oral B, Crest, and Gum.

Alcohol Free Mouthwash



There's a long debate about whether or not mouthwash helps with bad breath or not. Mouthwash can successfully eliminate a lot of germs in your mouth, but it's definitely not the most effective way of getting rid of bad breath. Also there is alcohol in some mouthwashes. This alcohol can dry out your mouth and reduce bacteria fighting saliva. However there are some alcohol free mouthwashes you can use that can kill bacteria without drying your mouth out. Overall, if you really feel the need to use mouthwash, use an alcohol free mouthwash, but remember it won't prevent bad breath as any of the other things mentioned previously.

Do You Use Mouthwash?

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