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Bad Breath – Causes and Treatment Options Halitosis also known as 'bad breath' is one of the most common oral problems. According to experts, it's the third frequent reason why people seek dental services. There are numerous factors and causes for halitosis. If you're one of those suffering from bad breath, the right remedy depends on the root cause. Consider the following. 1. Stinky Food. If you eat something with a strong smell, chances are it's going to stink coming out. Meals rich in onions and garlic are obvious offenders. The same goes with eating funky cheese and drinking alcohol. Other culprits include: •

Peanuts; the paste can stain the palate causing bad breath

Tuna; it may be a delicious treat but don't eat it during a date

Tofu; made with sour milk and shrimp brine, what do you expect?

Coffee; due to its drying effect, it allows oral bacterial growth

2. Low Carb Diet. You may be dying to shed off some weight but dentists don't recommend skipping carbohydrates. If you're low in carbs, the body burns stored fat which leads to ketone build-up. Apparently, ketones don't smell too good. 3. Dirty Mouth. Poor hygiene is a huge contributor of halitosis. Skip brushing and bacteria will instantly build up in your mouth. As they interact with food particles, they give off unpleasant byproducts – volatile stinky sulfur. 4. Dry Mouth. The production of saliva helps flush out bacteria and prevents them from settling and multiplying. Meanwhile, dry mouth is the perfect breeding ground for bacteria. Be extra prepared during winter months. 5. Underlying Illnesses. Having bad breath can also be a sign of an underlying illness. For instance, those with Diabetes often have bad breath due to ketone build-up. The following illnesses also cause halitosis: •

Gastro Esophageal Reflux Disease (GERD)

Liver or kidney problems

Respiratory Tract Infections such as pneumonia

Chronic sinus infections

Treatment Options Those without any underlying conditions, getting read of bad breath can be easy as cleaning your mouth. For hardened plaque, dental health services are most probably needed. Nevertheless, here are some treatment options: 1. Watch what you eat. To avoid food related halitosis, stay away from the main culprits like onions and garlic. Also, minimize your intake of alcoholic beverages and coffee. Eat more of foods that can help prevent bad breath. •

Cranberries make bacteria less sticky

Chewing parsley can help stop offending smells

Drinking tea can prevent bad breath

Sugarless gums help kill bacteria

2. Eat some carbs. To prevent ketone formation, don't skip breakfast. Eat your carbs – healthy carbs while you're at it. Experts recommend whole grains, fruits and veggies over a chocolate frosted cake or glazed donuts. 3. Keep it clean. Mints and mouthwash only mask bad breath. The best way to get rid of it is by brushing your teeth, flossing and scraping your tongue. You can buy tongue scrapers at most drugstores. Expect a fresher breath afterward. 4. Drink plenty of water. To avoid dry mouth, stay hydrated. Drink plenty of water, at least eight glasses a day, to keep saliva flowing. Drinking water also helps in cleaning your mouth by flushing away food particles. 5. See your dentist. If oral care at home won't stop it, maybe it's time to consult your dentist. They can check the root cause of your halitosis – whether it's because of tartar, plaque or a more serious illness. Early detection is the key. Your mouth contains millions of bacteria which can cause halitosis at any time of the day. With good oral hygiene and quality dental care, you can beat bad breath.

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