Bad breath is the bane of just about anyone who has to come face to face with anyone else on a daily basis. It’s not only tolerating it in others, but dealing with it yourself that makes halitosis originating in the mouth one of the most notorious and annoying ailments many of us undergo. Yet even when bad breath is deduced to be coming from the mouth and not a sign of something life threatening, the exact cause can be difficult to pin down. Maybe it’s just a dirty tongue, or particles of food that have been persistently locked between molars for months. It could be the sign of gingivitis or a decaying tooth. Sometimes the only way to know for certain is to seek dental assistance.
Unless you’re insured however, a visit to the dentist just on the pretense of a checkup alone is going to run you one hundred dollars or more. If the source of bad breath is found, it could just be a matter of giving you some advice or it could require a cleaning process that racks up the bill, or eve surgery. But considering that most causes of bad breath are the result of poor oral hygiene, and therefore are often reversible if the sufferer embraces new habits and abandons dirty ones, it’s worth trying some homespun remedies before you venture to see a professional.
1. Drinking Lots of Water
Bad breath is often the result of a dry mouth and the ability for bacteria and other growths to take advantage of the open real estate. We’re often made to associate wet and dampness with the increased propagation of germs but we have to remember that our mouths have been damp watery caverns for millions of years and we’ve adapted by using saliva as a means to continually flush germs a long with the food particles they’re attached to down into the digestive tract. With the absence of saliva, or water in general, the mouth’s halfway status as a damp-yet-dry destination makes it a haven for germy growths. Drinking sugary sodas and juices as well as alcohol only contribute to the damage, as the sugars will feed bacteria and alcohol dries the mouth.
The most unlikely and perhaps most unwelcome remedy on this list in aiding an end to bad breath is a good work out. The chain of events that leads from burning calories to stopping halitosis isn’t complicated, and everyone from Miami dentists to Moscow orthodontists are advising their patients on this connection. We lose bone density as we get older, which means our bodies tend to start mining calcium out of our teeth to compensate for it. This contributes to an increased likelihood of tooth decay, which can be a cause of bad breath. Simply working out and keeping vitamin D intake at high enough levels can keep bones strong which means your teeth won’t be victimized and neither will anyone’s nose standing near you.
3. The Right Foods
I’m not going to preach about how destructive sugary sweets, booze, meat, and processed carbohydrates are on teeth. Instead I’m going to talk about the noted link between foods like yogurt and the decimation of plaque and other bad breath-causers. Fruits, while high in sugars, keep the mouth moist and breaks apart those bacteria colonies that have a firm grip on your grill. It’s certainly wise to cut down on foods that are most associated with germy mouths and therefore smelly ones, but if you’re able to maintain a good habit of eating foods that fight the causes of bad breath you can perhaps afford to indulge too.
4. Floss, floss, floss
Research done by the Philippine Dental Association in 2009 has indicated that the benefits of flossing on a daily basis far outweigh the benefits of brushing the surface of teeth as often. More and more dentists and other oral hygiene professionals are in fact lowering their recommended standards of brushing and upping the importance of flossing. The pieces of food that can get trapped between teeth can remain there for days and even weeks at a time, which is more than enough of an opportunity for bacteria colonies to grow enough to cause noticeable odors. If you have to choose, which you definitely shouldn’t have to, choose flossing over brushing, especially after a meal.
5. The Right Nutrients
These don’t have the amount of medical research and professional backing of the preceding options but if you’re still struggling with smelly breath look into the various nutrients and supplements that are suggested to use in the fight against halitosis. Some say taking a ½ tsp. of citric acid mixed with a ½ tsp. of baking soda once a day can combat bad breath. This is apparently a way for you to increase bicarbonate levels inside the body to keep the acid-base ratio in balance and therefore make it harder for bacteria to grow.
6. Giving up the causes and embracing the cures
The best way to keep bad breath at bay is to cut out the causes. That means no smoking , no sugary processed foods, and no alcohol. It also means committing to a daily flossing regimen, drinking plenty of water, and keeping in good physical shape. It’s not exactly as easy as 30-second mouth wash, but consider this interesting tidbit: alcohol dries the mouth, and what is the most important ingredient in most mouthwashes? What’s the number one reason people buy mouthwash? I’m not much into conspiracy theories, but like I said, that’s something to think about.
Only action can eliminate bad breath once and for all. The dentist is definitely there to help you fight the bad breath blues, but you should certainly try home remedies before making an appointment. But don’t think it’s going to be easy getting rid of halitosis without also getting rid of some of the bad habits that go along with it. Anyone who thinks they can otherwise shouldn’t hold their breath.