Bad Breath? Dr. Susan Sheets, San Pedro, CA

Bad breath can signal several health related issues. As of today 93 million Americans suffer from halitosis (chronically bad breath). If you are suffering from bad breath, these are 7 techniques that can help you eliminate bad breath.

  1. Clean Your Tongue – Your tongue is covered by millions small hair-like fibers called papillae that trap food particles and emitting hydrogen sulfide vapors (bad breath). Even though mouthwash can help, the best way remove bacteria from your tongue is by using a tongue scraper or brushing your tongue.
  2. Chew Sugarless Gum – Your own saliva is the best defense against bad breath. Certain medications can trigger dry mouth, which is a common cause of halitosis. Chewing gum stimulates salivation and if it contains the sugar substitute xylitol, it can even help reduce cavity-causing bacteria.
  3. Use Cinnamon to Freshen Your Breath – The International Association for Dental Research conducted a study that showed cinnamon flavored gum reduces odor-causing bacteria.  Contrary to other flavors such as mint which only mask bad breath, cinnamon actually kills bad breath with odor-fighting compounds.
  4. Keep Your Mouth Moisturized – Drinking water helps rinse away bacteria. Drinking tea that contains polyphenols (plant chemical that reduces bacterial growth) may also help reduce bad-breath bacteria.
  5. Pay Attention to Your Diet – Eliminating carbs can trigger bad breath as a result of ketosis (fat-burning effect caused by lack of carbohydrates). Chewing parsley or mint leaves can mask the odor, but the only way to eradicate this type of bad breath is to increase the consumption of carbohydrates. Other foods that can cause bad breath are: coffee, alcohol, onions and garlic.
  6. Use The Correct Mouthwash – An analysis conducted by the Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews found out that ingredients such as chlorhexidine and cetylpyridinium chloride, chlorine dioxide and zinc are helpful when fighting bad breath bacteria. Chlorhexidine mouthwash is only available by prescription only and can temporarily stain teeth.
  7. Eliminate Medical Problems – Even though bad breath is manifested in the mouth, it can be a warning sign of other health problems in your body such as respiratory tract infections, diabetes, acid reflux, liver disease and even cancer. 90 percent of the time bad breath is caused by a dental issue like cavities, gum disease or damaged restorations, therefore it is a good idea to always speak with your doctor if you suddenly experience chronically bad breath.

These are only a few suggestions to keep bad breath at bay. If you need more information on fighting bad breath set up an appointment with Dr. Susan Sheets at (310) 832-2657 and take care of your dental health today.

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