I Have Bad Breath

We're all more than familiar with the feeling of being on the receiving end of a gust of what smells like the tail-end of one of our coworker's garlicky lunch. Something more difficult to perceive and be aware of? When our own breath is less than minty. Halitosis is a tragic phenomenon affecting the lives and Saturday night dates of well over fifty percent of adults in this country. Knowing you're one of them is only half of the battle; identifying the causes of bad breath in your own life and practicing good preventative practices is the only way to fully ensure that the air you breathe won't leave the wrong impression.

Rampant, unchecked proliferation of bacteria in the mouth is the most common source of bad breath. The human mouth is an extremely opportune place for these foul-smelling organisms to set up shop and call home; it's dark, warm and moist, acting like a petri dish for any microscopic cultures that happen to be fortunate enough to find themselves in there. One obvious cause of bad breath is not brushing and flossing meticulously twice a day; skimping out on this essential habit gives germs an uninterrupted opportunity to grow and multiply. Food is one obvious way that these tiny pests and other less-than-savory-smelling compounds can find their way onto your tongue and in between your teeth - things like coffee,  alcohol, garlic, and onions of any variety impart a distinctive scents that tend to linger, alchemizing and changing as the day goes on and they are allowed to fester. Smoking and chewing tobacco dehydrates the mouth, both reducing circulation and the amount of saliva available to help wash away bacteria accumulated between brushing, causing stagnation and a distinctively stale aroma to develop; infections and gum disease can also have a similar effect, inhibiting the mouth's ability to clean itself autonomously. Other, more indirect conditions that may lead to bad breath include pneumonia, diabetes, acid reflux, and sinus dysfunction.

Once you've determined that you do indeed suffer from halitosis, you may feel like there is no path out, but fear not - there are many habitual changes you can make to ensure that you never fall victim to the problem again. Covering the problem up with superficial solutions like mints or gum will only get you so far - maintaining a rigorously consistent routine of brushing and flossing every morning when you wake up and every night before you go to bed, taking care to replace your toothbrush every three months at least; the inclusion of an anti-septic mouthwash and a tongue scraper into your regime will only aid you in this endeavor. Drinking plenty of water throughout the day will not only keep things moving on a surface level, but will also keep your internal systems of irrigation free-flowing and able to flush away unseen toxins and other unpleasant build-up. Bad breath resulting from certain advanced forms of periodontal disease may be less simple to solve meaningfully - consult your dentist if you've tried all of the above and have not achieved your desired results.


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