Anatomy And Physiology

Bad Breath



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Don't lie. There has been a point in our lives where we have noticed our breath hasn't been as fresh as it should be, and we have all been subjected to the embarrassment of the reactions of the people around us. Maybe you have noticed your co-workers back away when you talk, or a boyfriend or girlfriend who flinches when you try to kiss them. Well it's extremely embarrassing there are things you can do to prevent or minimize bad breath.

First you may be wondering if you have bad breath (halitosis). Sometimes we can't rely on our own nose to determine whether or not we do. This is because our oral cavity is connected to our nose at an opening toward the back of our mouth. Our noses often ignore a background odor which is why we can't always tell how our breath smells. If you want to know you can ask your dentist or hygienist. There are a number of ways professionals can check for bad breath but we won't get into those. If you are comfortable enough you can even ask a spouse or close friend.

If you've looked inside your mouth you may have noticed a whitish coating at the back of your tongue. This area is home for bacteria, the surrounding areas of your mouth also house numerous bacteria. Other reasons for foul smelling breath can include; poor oral hygiene, diseases of the mouth or possible throat or nose disturbances.

So what can be used as a bad breath cure?

One bad breath remedy is to brush and floss daily. By brushing and flossing you rid your mouth and teeth of possible food that bacteria feed off of and plaque which helps house bacteria.

See your dentist regularly. Your dentist will be able to remove tartar and check in with your cleaning routine to make sure it is sufficient. They can also treat and diagnose any problems you may have in your mouth.

Clean your tongue. Though people brush and floss the tongue is often overlooked. If you clean your tongue regularly it can help significantly with halitosis. The goal is to clean the posterior region of the tongue. Start as far back as possible and move towards the front of your mouth. Use a fair amount of pressure but not enough to cause irritation. You can use a tongue brush or tooth brush whatever you are more comfortable with. There may be a gag reflex but it should diminish with time.

Rinse with mouthwash. Mouth wash is very effective when used with proper brushing and flossing as well as visits to the dentist. To find effective rinses look for antibacterial and sulfur neutralizing rinses. Look for chlorine dioxide, sodium or zinc on the ingredient lists. These are known to neutralize bacteria. To use mouthwashes it is best to gargle for 30 seconds to ensure that the rinse is reaching all of your mouth and the back of your tongue.

Antiseptic rinses, Listerine and other generic brands have been suggested, but dentist feel they may not be the best choices because of the high alcohol content. Alcohol is a drying agent and therefore dries out the tissues of the mouth.

Use mints and gums.

Do not be embarrassed if you have problems with chronic bad breath. To stop bad breath, remember to follow a diligent dental regime at home and at your dental office. If you do you will be able to treat and minimize your bad breath.

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