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Having bad breath could be so humiliating. Bad breath or halitosis is a foul odour emanating from the mouth. A lot of people suffer from this problem and others have no idea that they have halitosis.

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There are so many root causes of halitosis which include: gum disease, poor oral hygiene, coated tongue, dental cavities, etc. Bacteria that live in the mouth can cause bad breath, too. Dry mouth, diabetes, ulcer, intestinal disorders, heartburn, lactose intolerance, and malnutrition can also result in this problem. We can also have intermittent bad breath. This happens when we consume food and drink like garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol. Heavy smokers are prone to suffer from bad breath.

Importantly, practising good oral hygiene is needed to reduce bad breath. There exist many treatment procedures for curing bad breath and they vary due to the causes.

If your dentist discovers that your bad breath is caused by a health issue, he/she would refer you to a primary care provider. However, if the cause of your bad breath is related to poor oral health, your dentist will help you to manage the bad breath.

To prevent bad breath, follow these measures

Buy fluoride-containing toothpaste

Your dentist will most likely recommend a toothpaste that contains fluoride if your bad breath is stemming from a buildup of bacteria (plaque) on your teeth. He/she may also recommend a mouth-friendly mouth rinse that kills the bacteria.

Go for treatment

If you have been diagnosed with dental disease, you may see the dentist on time. Gum disease, which is a major dental disease, can cause your gums to pull away from your teeth. This will cause deep pockets to form and afterwards, these deep pockets will be filled with bacteria that cause bad breath. Visiting a professional to remove this bacteria is highly advised.

Brush your teeth twice every day

It is advisable to brush at least twice a day, especially after eating. Make sure to use fluoride-containing toothpaste that is proven to reduce bad breath.

Learn to floss properly

Flossing is done to remove food particles and plaque that are between your teeth.

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When brushing, pay attention to your tongue

If you are not aware, our tongue harbours bacteria that cause bad breath. Hence, brushing the tongue can help to reduce bad breath. You can buy a tongue scraper or a toothbrush that has a built-in tongue cleaner.

Keep your dental appliances clean at all times

If you have been recommended by a dentist to wear a bridge or a denture, you ought to clean it as directed by your dentist.

Using a clean dental retainer or mouth guard helps to reduce bad breath. Ask your dentist for recommendations on the best cleaning product for your dental appliances.

Keep your mouth moist

To achieve this, you need to drink plenty of water. Avoid tobacco, coffee, soft drinks or alcohol— they are capable of leaving your mouth drier.

You can chew gum or suck on candy (preferably sugarless) to stimulate saliva. If you suffer from chronic dry mouth, visit your dentist for prescriptions of oral medication that stimulates the flow of saliva.

Change your diet

You may not know, but avoiding foods like onions and garlic can go a long way in helping you reduce bad breath and mouth odour. Stop eating sugary foods, too.

Get a new toothbrush after every 3 or 4 months

When your toothbrush has become frayed, then it is a sign to change it. Medically, you should change your toothbrush every three to four months. When buying a new one, always go for a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Finally, Meet with your dentist regularly. Do not fail to sign up for regular dental checkups. You can go twice a year to have your teeth and dentures examined.

Featured Image Source: News24
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This article was first published on 4th May 2022


Ohia, Ernest Chigaemezu is a writer, editor, and grade teacher based in Jos, Nigeria.

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