According to recent studies, the best way to cure halitosis is by targeting the root cause of the problem. Studies show that practicing good oral hygiene alone is not as successful in eliminating bad breath as treating the underlying cause of the problem; eliminating the problem at the root.
This is not to diminish the importance of good oral hygiene in keeping strong, healthy teeth and gums. For chronic bad breath, however, it may not be enough. Neglecting to brush your teeth is rarely the main cause of chronic halitosis which may have more serious origins.
Below is a list that may help you determine the cause of halitosis and possibly the best route to eliminating the problem. Careful consideration should be given to each one to determine if it is the cause of your halitosis.
1. Stop smoking.
It’s a commonly known fact that smoking is a seriously dangerous habit, especially as the leading cause of lung cancer. In addition, smoking is also a major cause of chronic halitosis cases. Smoking reduces the saliva level in the mouth and throat by making them dry. Bacteria builds up in the mouth without the necessary saliva to eliminate it. When not continually cleared out by swallowing saliva, bacteria builds up and leaves foul-smelling byproducts in your mouth. Only temporary relief can be achieved by brushing your teeth or chewing gum. The only permanent solution to halitosis caused by smoking is to quit smoking.
2. Increase water intake.
Digestive problems are caused by alcohol consumption in excessive amounts. Bad breath can be a result of digestive problems. Alcohol consumption is another cause of decreased saliva production, drying the mouth. Halitosis can be caused or increased by all these factors. Increasing your water consumption is a immense aid to eliminating halitosis. Decreasing foul-smelling emissions from the digestive tract is an advantage of increased water consumption by cleaning the digestive system and reducing particles in the mouth.
3. Increase saliva production.
Many things can cause or add to dry mouth. The throat can be dried out by certain infections, some medications and diseases. A big contributor to dry mouth is tobacco products. Dry mouth can be treated with several options. Flushing out the mouth, and some bacteria with it, helps eliminate bad breath; such as by sucking on hard candy. The production of saliva is increased by the overall hydration of the body with plenty of water. Some other ways to treat dry mouth are using moisture-producing vaporizers in your home, using fluoride toothpaste and avoiding breathing through your mouth.
4. Curing sinus infections with proper medication.
Bad breath can be caused by discharge dripping down the back of the throat and laying on the tongue during a sinus infection. “Post nasal drip” is the medical term for this discharge. Dead cells used as a food source for the bacteria make up the post nasal drip. Common treatments for sinus infections can be medicines in the form of sprays. If you suspect you have a sinus infection, the best course of action is to consult your doctor to determine the best cure.
5. Bronchitis could be the cause.
Bronchitis symptoms can be similar to sinus infections in the dryness of the mouth and throat, resulting in halitosis. The best course of action for bronchitis is to consult your doctor for treatment.
6. Keep your teeth clean and healthy.
Bad breath can be tremendously reduced by keeping your teeth clean, as well as making teeth more attractive. Halitosis can be remedied with proper brushing and flossing. Follow the suggestions of the American Dental Association for your dental hygiene regimen.
7. Dietary control is important.
The differences in foods can have affects on your digestion, resulting in changes in the smell of your breath. For example, foods that can have the most effect on breath, lasting for many hours, are pungent or high in acid, such as onion, curry and cabbage. Other oral problems such as tooth decay, gum disease, etc., can be caused by foods high in fat and sugar because they promote the production of plaque. Halitosis is less likely with a good diet. A healthy diet in combination with good dental hygiene will often be all that’s required to cure halitosis.
8. Decrease your stress.
An often overlooked cause of halitosis is stress. But the digestive system is effected by stress. A key factor in reducing stress is a positive attitude.
9. Serious medical conditions could be the cause halitosis.
Symptoms of a serious medical conditions should be immediately seen by a doctor; these symptoms would be respiratory disorders, hypoglycemia, gastroesophageal re-flux, duodenal ulcers, kidney or liver malfunction. Bad breath could be caused by any of these conditions.
10. See your dentist regularly.
Your dentist can determine and in some cases prevent conditions that would cause bad breath if you see him on a regular basis and follow his instructions. You could be saved from the awkwardness and problematic situation of halitosis by taking advantage of your dentist’s expertise.