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Perhaps the term "halitosis" means nothing to you, but statistics show there is a one in four chance you suffer from this condition! In plain English halitosis means bad breath. It is traceable to poor dental hygiene in most cases. If you fail to clean food segments trapped between your teeth properly, bacteria build up in the mouth, and this gives an unpleasant odor to your breath. Sometimes the type of foods or drinks you enjoy makes the breath smell, or it might be a sign of gum disease or infection. People with bad breath may be unaware of the problem while their family and friends certainly do know about it!

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Take better care of your teeth

Improved dental care provides the best protection against halitosis. This requires brushing the teeth with toothpaste at least twice a day. The brushing ought to take several minutes if you do a thorough job. In addition to brushing the teeth, use dental floss to clear out bits of food trapped between teeth. Remember to clean your tongue when cleaning the teeth. Make sure to visit the dentist twice a year for a checkup and professional cleaning. The dentist can recommend the best types of toothpaste and dental floss to use.

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Avoid foods that can cause dental damage

Dentists frequently warn children about eating too many sweets that leave a residue that sticks to teeth and is hard to clean off. This warning applies to all age groups. Before eating that sticky boiled sweet, or taking the tobacco to chew on, pause and think of the damage you could do to your teeth. If concerns over halitosis fail to motivate you to forgo that treat, think about the pain and costs of dental treatment for tooth decay.

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Recognize how tobacco and alcohol affect breath

Many of those who enjoy drinking or smoking fail to consider how both alcohol and tobacco scents linger on their breath. Besides giving breath an unpleasant odor, cigarette smoke damages the health of people around you (passive smoking). Even though alcohol only damages someone who uses it to excess, people never appreciate it on your breath. Eliminating or at least reducing the use of these substances removes another common bad breath cause.

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Remember that some healthy foods also have strong odors

So many natural health resources recommend the nutritional and medicinal value of garlic and onions. Nobody denies that these vegetables make good choices for healthy diets, but the fact is that they both have pungent odors. Everyone must make their own calculation about the benefits of eating such foods against the annoyance caused to everyone in the vicinity by their lingering odor. Peppers offer another example of a food with many health benefits but odor problems.

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Make full use of foods that give breath a pleasant odor

You have a choice of fragrant herbs to put in your mouth to create pleasant odors. In medieval times (when people had no understanding of dental hygiene requirements) women often disguised their bad breath in this way. Try eating parsley, celery, broccoli or even an apple. These foods are healthy to eat, and they benefit dental health. At the same time you, and the people close to you, appreciate the benefits in the relief from halitosis odors.

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Temporary relief from halitosis

Sometimes people need to mask halitosis smells, for example, in advance of an important meeting. Disguising the odor should never be a substitute for dental treatment to remove the bacteria that cause halitosis. However, if you need a "quick fix," try swilling your mouth out with mouthwash. Others prefer to take fragrant mints and chewing gum but it is advisable to check if these contain sugar since this is detrimental to dental health. After a while, all of this masking loses its effectiveness and needs repeating.

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Enjoy honey and reduce halitosis problems

While nobody argues about the benefits of honey to general health, there is no similar consensus about its role in the fight against bad breath. Honey is virtually odorless, but some argue that it helps to neutralize halitosis. It seems that one type of honey might make a difference in that area. Bees produce Manuka honey (from the pollen of a bush with that name). This honey is especially rich in antimicrobial qualities so there are some grounds for assuming it could help bad breath sufferers.

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Fasting also causes bad breath

After reading about all the kinds of food and drink that contribute to halitosis and dental decay, it is easy to understand if someone jumps to the assumption that fasting could be a solution. Fasting may be an essential part of some diet plans, but it does not provide any relief from halitosis. After abstaining from food and drink for a certain time, the mouth dries out, and dry mouths are environments where the microbes that cause bad breath can flourish.

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Dealing with underlying medical problems



Improvements in dental care and diet and lifestyle changes should suffice to treat the majority of halitosis problems, but if these measures fail to deliver results, it could indicate a more serious medical problem. Bad breath might be a sign of diabetes, and this needs investigating. Alternatively, perhaps the dentist will recommend the use of a saliva substitute to remove dryness from the mouth if this seems to be contributing to the halitosis.

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More popular home treatments

There is no shortage of traditional home treatments for halitosis sufferers. Some recommended brushing the mouth with baking soda since this helps remove bacteria but it ought to be done in addition to normal tooth brushing. Gurgling with salt water is another popular option while others advocate eating avocados to prevent the intestinal decay that can cause bad breath. A teaspoon of fenugreek mixed in water might also form part of your home halitosis treatment plan.

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Disclaimer

This site offers information designed for educational purposes only. You should not rely on any information on this site as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, treatment, or as a substitute for, professional counseling care, advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about your health, you should always consult with a physician or other healthcare professional.