Beating Bad Breath

When I was still but a teenager, a friend of mine asked me if I had “a cure for halitosis”. At the time, I had no idea what halitosis was, so I told him I didn’t – I wasn’t a doctor. He then informed me that he was looking for a piece of gum, or a mint; that’s when I learned that halitosis means bad breath, and that he was asking with a wink and a smile. As it turns out, there’s no cure for halitosis, per se – bad breath is a symptom, not a cause, and the underlying reasons for it are what need to be treated.

There are a few different reasons that you might have bad breath. The first and most obvious is that you ate something smelly; garlic, onions and the like. The cure for this is more or less just to wait it out; drink water, brush your teeth (but wait 30 minutes after you eat before you do), and use mouthwash or sugar-free gum. These are the easiest cases of halitosis to deal with.

When you find your bad breath is persistent, it’s likely there’s another underlying cause. Saliva is an incredibly important part of your overall oral health; it helps break down and wash away food particles that can cause bad breath. Dry mouth, then, is one of the leading causes of halitosis. Consider drinking more water, especially if you drink a lot of coffee, which can dry out the mouth when consumed in excess. Look at any medications you’re taking; many of them can cause your mouth to dry out. Alcohol and tobacco are two other causes of dry mouth; don’t drink too often, and definitely consider dropping tobacco altogether. I’m sure you’ve heard this before, but it bears repeating: smoking is really bad for your health.

Some of the more common causes of halitosis are oral health problems: gum disease and cavities. The first step to regulating these is to have a consistent oral health care routine. Brush twice a day, floss once a day, and drink plenty of water every day. You might need help with your brushing technique: a lot of people don’t know the most effective ways of brushing. There’s no shame in wanting to improve: go on YouTube to check out brushing techniques, or talk to your dentist. When your oral health care routine is already set, but you still have halitosis, it’s likely a sign of cavities or more deep set gum disease; pockets of bacteria accumulating in your mouth are the culprit. Poorly fitted veneers and crown are hot spots for these pockets; there are Winnipeg veneers and crowns available that can be fitted perfectly on your teeth.

There’s a variety of other conditions that can cause halitosis, too. The connection between your mouth and digestive tract means bad breath can be a sign of problems in your stomach, like gastric reflux; it can also be a sign of kidney problems, diabetes, and other conditions. When you experience chronic bad breath, it’s a good idea to talk to your dentist.