Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, can be very embarrassing problem. One may even not be aware of the problem and wonder why people avoid conversation, turn their heads or frown from time to time during any kind of close contact. Fortunately, there are ways to fight this problem and for the beginning the best thing one should do is to try to establish the underlying cause of the condition.
Causes of Bad Breath
There are many causes of bad breath. Let us start with food. Certain kinds of food may be a culprit for bad breath. Namely, the digestion of food starts in the mouth. Oral cavity is rich in bacteria and once the digestion has started the food is processed and if not properly flushed with water or removed by flossing and brushing teeth it may release unpleasant odor. Such foods include garlic, onion, milk etc. Even consumption of alcohol, coffee and cigarette smoking may cause bad breath. In general, poor dental and oral hygiene is one of the leading causes of bad breath.
Dryness of oral cavity i.e. insufficient production of saliva does not lead to proper flushing of the food and bacteria and may induce bad breath.
Furthermore, certain disease of the oral cavity and nearby sinuses may be a cause of bad breath. Decayed tooth, periodontal disease are some of the examples and they require proper treatment.
Apart from the previously mentioned even systemic illnesses may cause bad breath. They include lung, kidney and liver diseases, chronic irritation of the esophagus and stomach and several autoimmune diseases including Sjogren's syndrome.
How to Deal with Bad Breath
First of all, one should learn how to maintain proper hygiene of the oral cavity. Regular flossing and brushing teeth is essential not only for maintaining the health of the teeth and gums but also for prevention of bad breath. Many people brush their teeth regularly but they omit brushing the tongue. This is wrong and they need to know that improper brushing of the tongue leaves way too many bacteria which may be responsible for bad breath.
Secondly, if there are certain medical conditions which cause bad breath they are supposed to be treated adequately and bad breath will be taken care of. This particularly refers to disease of oral cavity and nearby structures such as sinuses.
If one is a smoker, alcohol or coffee consumer and really enjoys in spicy food and any kind of food which may cause bad breath he/ she may apply several tricks to avoid bad breath. Chewing a sugarless gum with xylitol or mint leaves is only one way to cover the smell.
And finally, even certain vitamin supplements may be helpful in elimination of bad breath. They include vitamin C and Zinc.