Bad Breath: Causes and Treatment

We have all faced, at least once in our life, with bad breath. The real problem, however, ensues when bad breath persists despite your obsessive flossing and brushing.

If that’s the case, you should look for the cause and see if the bad breath is a symptom of some other condition. Anyway, if this is you, read on for a few words on how to get rid of bad breath.

Toothpaste and toothbrush; image source:

What Causes Bad Breath?

Halitosis, which is a medical term for this condition, can be caused by some serious diseases, and it shouldn’t be ignored.

  • You are probably aware that the food you eat starts getting digested in your mouth and no matter how hard you brush, you won’t be able to get rid of the bad smell until you eliminate the food you ate (garlic, for example) from your system. This is one of the reasons why people generally avoid eating “smelly” food before going out on a date or on a business meeting
  • Also, fasting and a low carb diet can cause bad breath.
  • Another major cause is smoking, and you’ve probably heard at one point or another that your breath smells like an old ashtray.
  • One of the most common causes is poor dental hygiene, and if you are not a fan of flossing, bacteria will eventually grow between your teeth resulkting in very bad breath! This condition is luckily treatable with mouthwash.
  • Other medical conditions that might be why your breath smells so badly are yeast infections, gum disease, and cavities.
  • Unfortunately, not all conditions that cause halitosis are easily treatable. Bad breath can be a symptom of diabetes, sinus infection, pneumonia, acid reflux, liver or kidney disease, and bronchitis.

How to Stop Bad Breath?

In order to prevent and treat bad breath, try some of these tricks:

  • Brush your teeth at least twice a day and don’t forget to floss; don’t neglect tongue and use antibacterial mouthwash.
  • Visit your dentist twice a year for regular check-ups.
  • Don’t eat garlic or other “smelly” food, especially if you have a meeting or a date. Keep this guilty pleasure for a day off!
  • Chewing gums help! They stimulate the production of saliva which prevents bacterial growth.
  • Change toothbrush every three to four months.

If your bad breath persists in spite of the above measures, consult you dentist. If the problem appears to be out of his field, he/she will refer you to the appropriate specialist.

How to Avoid Bad Breath at the Office?

If your job is constant interaction with customers and colleagues, halitosis can certainly be a major inconvenience; plus, sadly you can become an object of mockery!

People who have problems with malodor are in most cases unaware of their condition, so try to look on the bright side if your partner/family member/good friend warns you that your breath smells. On the other hand, if you suspect that your breath smells, don’t hesitate to ask your partner/family member/good friend. Granted, this can be a bit awkward for both of you, but sometimes it is the only way to find out. If the answer is “yes”, consider the above strategies.

Try avoiding coffee at work, which combined with cigarettes can make things even worse; try drinking green or black tea instead for these beverages eliminate sulfur and prevent bacterial growth.

Herbal green tea; image source:

Say goodbye to candies at work, because sugar sitting on your tongue can also cause halitosis. Instead eat food that is rich in fiber (apples and celery) – it can prevent and even reduce malodor. The same is true of some dietary supplements such as vitamins C, B, D, and E that can help remove toxins from your organism.

Before going to work, brush your teeth with baking soda which neutralizes acidic environment in your mouth, thus preventing malodor.

Other strategies you can use at the office to reduce bad breath include:

  • Staying hydrated
  • Breathe through your nose
  • Use an oral probiotic

Know that there is absolutely no reason to feel ashamed because of your bad breath – you are not alone. A lot of people have the same problem, even though most of them don’t like to talk about it.

The good news is that it’s a treatable inconvenience; but if the problem persists, consult your dentist or your family doctor who will quickly determine what is the cause of this unpleasant condition.


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