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Halitosis - How to Fight Bad Breath

12 Nov, 2015

Halitosis - How to Fight Bad Breath

Have you lost the battle with halitosis or do you know somebody who tries to avoid social interactions in fear of ruining the moment with their bad breath? A little detective work, might uncover a rather simple solution to this potentially embarrassing symptom.
First of all, consider your oral hygiene. You might brush your teeth after every meal, but you do not floss regularly. Did you know that by brushing alone you remove only about 40% of what sticks to your teeth and gets in between them? If food particles are not promptly removed from the teeth, they start to decompose creating odor. Furthermore, eating acidic foods or drinking acidic beverages like soda pop might lead to more cavities and thus bad breath. On the other hand, skipping meals causes the mouth's acidity drop leading to proliferation of bacteria responsible for gum disease and dragon breath.
Ask yourself when you had your last dental exam. Are you diligent about having your teeth cleaned every 6 months?
Next, do you suffer from seasonal or environmental allergies? Do you frequently clear your throat, have a runny nose, or can't breath due to nasal congestion? Talk to your health care provider about finding the right solution to your allergies, as postnasal drip might affect the quality of your breath and even lead to a sinus infection.
Sinus infections are another common reason for halitosis. As nasal congestion promotes pussy secretions from the sinuses drip to the throat, you may be assured that that person's breath does not smell like roses! That also goes for bacterial throat infections.
The other most common reasons of bad breath are acid reflux and lactose intolerance.
Acid reflux is characterized by stomach contents backing up into the esophagus and causing heartburn, nighttime coughing, waking up with a sore throat, tasting vomit after belching, and thus bad breath. Some of the causes for acid reflux are stress, high intake of caffeine or fatty foods, and overweight.
Lactose intolerance on the other hand results from an individual's inability to digest lactose, a sugar found in milk and milk-containing products. As lactose passes through the digestive system it gets broken down by bacteria. During the breakdown process bacteria produce methane that causes bloating, gas, belching, and malodorous breath.
Talk to your health care provider to solve the mystery of your halitosis. The cure might be very simple!

Dr. Hillary is a pediatric nurse practitioner with a doctoral degree in health promotion and risk reduction. She works as a pediatric clinician and writes for Plugged in Parents. Plugged In Parents provides up-to-date info on pediatric health, safety and nutrition along with movie reviews, recipes, tech-savvy tips, and a parent's only forum. You can also contact Dr. Hillary for personal questions related to health and nutrition.


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