The problem of bad breath, called halitosis, also leaves a bad taste in the mouth. A dry mouth or thick saliva on a regular basis is a problem sufferers live with. If your breath is causing people to step away from you, if you’re in the habit of chewing gum, using breath fresheners or popping mints, if your breath is interfering with your social or professional success in some way, you suffer from halitosis.
Chronic halitosis is a condition in which a person produces an offensive odour from their oral, nasal gastric regions. This is different from the “morning breath” many of us wake-up with. The unfortunate fact is most halitosis sufferers are unaware of their breath problem until they are informed about it.
Some of the common causes of halitosis are sinus infections and abnormal sinuses, tonsil infections, kidney, lung or liver diseases, diabetes, gallbladder dysfunction, allergy conditions, post-nasal discharge, gum disease, dental decay, menstruation and blood disorders. Food particles trapped in the mouth are also breeding grounds for bacteria that cause bad breath. When the mouth is dry, saliva production decreases and the mouth’s natural ability to cleanse itself is impaired.
Brush and floss your teeth and tongue (the tongue holds a lot of bacteria due to its rough surface) thoroughly after every meal.
See your dentist regularly to ensure oral hygiene.
Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless lozenges to increase the flow of saliva, your mouth’s natural mouthwash.
Avoid mints and mouthwashes that contain alcohol. They worsen a bad breath condition by temporarily covering the smell. But they eventually dry the mouth and provide a fertile breeding ground for bacteria.
Eating fresh fruit and veggies like celery and carrot help cleanse the mouth and the chlorophyll in greens help to neutralize odours.
If you have an important meeting, avoid strong-smelling foods like garlic and onion.
Avoid caffeine and alcohol – both dry the mouth.
Quit smoking. Tar and nicotine build up on the surface of the teeth and tongue and also inhibit saliva flow.
Apply a few drops of peppermint or tea tree oil to the tongue to freshen your breath. Their anti-bacterial properties will also kill the odour-causing bacteria in your mouth.
So follow these simple tips and ensure that you smell good all the time!