Simple And Effective Tips To Keep Your Breath Fresh
Posted Dec 04 2008 1:00am
by Darren Wumoult
Practically everybody in the world has had bad breath at some point in their lives, although you can expect that not many will readily admit it. Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is actually a very common condition that may result from several possible causes, including inadequate dental hygiene, tooth cavities, gingivitis or smoking.
Hundreds of bacteria reside in a person’s mouth. Some of these are good bacteria that help break down the proteins and other food debris left after eating. However, in the process of breaking down the food particles, many of these oral microorganisms emit volatile sulfuric compounds or VSCs. These chemicals have a rather offensive smell. In most cases, there is very small amount of VSCs produced and the smell is hardly noticeable. However, some people have very high levels of bacteria in their mouths that can produce excessive amounts of VSCs. In these cases, the combined odor of these chemicals become very unmistakable and comes out as bad breath.
Whenever we eat, food particles will naturally be left in the mouth. We’re not talking about the unsightly food bits stuck between your two front teeth. Instead, we are referring to minute food particles that are almost invisible to the naked eye. This is what attracts the oral bacteria and triggers the onset of bad breath. Furthermore, even if these particles do not actually attract bacteria, they will eventually rot and produce a stench that is just as bad, or even worse than the sulfur compounds produced by oral bacteria.
A very easy and effective tip in getting rid of bad breath is to simply brush your teeth after each meal. While eating, it is inevitable that some food bits will get stuck in between our teeth or gums. If not removed immediately, these will attract the smelly bacteria that cause bad breath. The action of brushing will remove these food particles and prevent bacteria from building up. You should brush your teeth after every meal if possible, especially if you eat foods that are rich in sugar or protein. Another tip to avoid bad breath is to make sure that you brush the surface of your tongue as well, especially the rear portion. People usually neglect to clean that back area of the tongue, turning it into a very good breeding ground for the bacteria that you certainly don’t want in your mouth.
In addition to brushing, you should also clean your tongue. The tongue, especially the part towards the back, is a very attractive breeding ground for oral bacteria because of the excessive food bits that have accumulated on the surface. If cleaned regularly, your tongue should be pink in color. If you see a white layer towards the back, that’s the foodstuff and bacteria that you need to get rid off.
If you mouth becomes dry, it transforms into a breeding ground for volatile sulfur compounds. Our saliva has natural antibiotic elements that reduce the number of bacteria in the mouth. When your mouth dries out, saliva production diminishes and the chances of bad breath increases. Therefore, if you were to chew gum to stimulate saliva production this would aid in decreasing the foul odor escaping your oral cavity. Another way to stimulate saliva production is to drink the recommended eight fluid ounces of water daily. Besides helping cut down on bad breath, it is also good for your health.
Alcohol-free mouthwashes can also help in providing a temporary solution to bad breath. As an alternative, you can make your own mouthwash by using baking soda. Countless people have eliminated bad breath using this home remedy, although many of them admit that it’s not the best tasting mouthwash in the world.
Still another technique that some people use is to regularly gargle with a hydrogen peroxide solution. The oxygen in these improvised mouthwashes is very effective in eradicating the oral bacteria in the mouth and even in the throat. When the amount of bacteria is reduced, the chance of acquiring bad breath is decreased as well.
One handy item that can be used is the Waterpik. The purpose of this product is to knock out the food particles stuck in between the teeth and gums by using a strong jet of water. It has an adjustable pressure setting and comes with its own special tongue cleaner. The portable version comes with a battery and can easily be carried around. However, at the retail price of $35, this item might be too expensive for some people.