Even for those who regularly visit their local dentist, bad breath (halitosis) is a condition most encounter at one point in time. It is characterized by unpleasant breath odor. The cause of bad breath could be something as simple as types of food we eat, dry mouth, common cold, or upset stomach. Most often, however, it is caused by inadequate dental hygiene.
Here’s the dirt on halitosis. The odor is born from food particles and dead cells in the mouth that attract bacteria—bacteria that go to town in environments that have little to no oxygen (such as back of the tongue and gum pockets). These gangs of bacteria emit the noticeable odor consisting of sulfur compounds.
Let’s face it, bad breath certainly causes a person to be uncomfortable and embarrassed when around other people. The good news is that there are simple home remedies, along with regular visits to your local dentist, which eliminate the problem of bad breath.
Below are a few simple suggestions:
● Improve your daily dental hygiene routine by brushing at least twice a day and flossing.
● If you are a tea drinker, researchers have found that green and black tea stop the growth of bacteria responsible for bad breath.
● Use a mouthwash that contains no alcohol (dries the mouth), but does contain zinc ions and/or essential oils. Zinc has been found to neutralize sulfur compounds and essential oils (tea tree, peppermint, and lemon) help to reduce bad breath.
● Purchase a tongue scraper from the drug store. By gently scraping your tongue, you’ll remove dead cells, food particles, and bacteria. Thoroughly rinse afterward. If you cannot find a tongue scraper, use a toothbrush to clean your tongue or consult with your family dentist as a resource.
● Keep yourself hydrated by drinking plenty of water. This will keep your mouth moist and eliminate dry mouth.
● Snack on crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples, carrots, and celery. Crunchy foods help to remove bacteria, food, and plaque from teeth.
● Rub fluoride toothpaste on your teeth. Let it remain for 30 minutes, then rinse. The fluoride adheres to the enamel of your teeth longer than typical brushing, thus giving you added protection.
● Chew on the natural herbs licorice root, parsley, rosemary, or tarragon for 60 seconds.
● Avoid indulging in alcohol, coffee, fried foods, milk, spicy foods, and sugar, as they are found to worsen bad breath. And you dentist will be happy because many of these products are bad for your teeth.
In normal circumstances, bad breath can be eliminated with simple home remedies. However, before relying on home remedies to eliminate bad breath, it is very important to visit a dentist in your area at least every six months to have your teeth examined and cleaned. If you do not have a local dentist, The Dental Center at Easton Town Center would certainly welcome you as a new patient.