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Wednesday, October 4, 2023


Don’t let bad breath ruin your pearly whites

The mouth is a cozy breeding ground for bacteria, which causes bad breath. There are several ways to keep the bad breath monster at bay. Among other things, be sure to keep floss handy, stay hydrated and chew sugar-free gum. |

Behind that pretty smile could be an ugly truth. Its name is bad breath and it has outstayed its welcome.

Smelly breath is always a touchy issue, especially for those who have it and bystanders who smell it. But just because you’ve found ways to ignore that monster doesn’t mean it doesn’t need to be tamed. Don’t worry, there’s a fresh side to every smelly situation. Studies show there are ways to tame the beast.

According to a recent CNN report, more than 90 million Americans suffer from bad breath, also known as halitosis. After meals, you can expect odors to carry on, especially when eating spice-heavy foods.

Studies suggest that bad breath from food should disappear after 24 hours. If conditions worsen, it could be caused by lingering bacteria in the mouth, said periodontist and associate dean at Tufts School of Dental Medicine James Hanley in an article.

Just think of your mouth as the odor beast’s home. The interior design concept for its house is a germ-infested bacterial playground, with the tongue as its bed. In the crevices of bad breath’s home is plaque that is hard to get rid of and that can lead to periodontal disease; chronic bad breath can be an indicator of this disease process, according to studies.

The best way to get rid of bad breath and all the bacterial décor in your mouth is to use good hygiene practices.

If you’re out or don’t have time to brush your teeth, chew a stick of gum to save you and passersby from a bad breath beat down.

As an avid Italian food eater, I would be lying if I said the beast hasn’t released its fury before, but I attack the smelly assailant with sticks of gum.

Those unsure about their breath should follow CNN’s advice and lick the back of your hand, let it dry and then smell it. Bad breath germs are normally found riding the slippery slopes of taste buds on the tongue.

When you know there’s a pungent smell itching to break free from your mouth, don’t turn your back on it. Instead, fight back before the sneaky enemy plans another stinky attack.

What lies beneath

Inside your mouth is a hot, wet, cozy place for complex bacteria to live. The bacteria feed on particles from leftover food and produce chemical byproducts that leave an odor.

In most cases, bad breath cases are the cause of food and bacteria that have collected in the mouth for long periods of time; they later form plaque in pockets on the teeth and in the gums.

Remember that bad breath doesn’t always mean bad hygiene. Normally the tongue is the culprit.

“More than 600 types of bacteria are found in the average mouth,” CNN reports. “Many of those bacteria get trapped under the surface of the tongue and cause the bad breath.”

Weapons of breath destruction

Brush your teeth and floss. I know this seems like a remedial concept, but based on what I’ve smelled, I’m not sure everyone is getting the message.

If you cannot brush two to three times daily then try doing it once efficiently, then stuff your mouth with sugar-free gum throughout the day.

Drinking plenty of water also helps get rid of bad breath.

“Stay hydrated,” CNN reported. “A dry mouth is a breeding ground for offensive-smelling bacteria on your tongue.”

Eat away foul breath

Food fixes bad breath. According to the CNN report, green tea has anti-bacterial properties in it that help fight the funk. Cinnamon also contains essential oils that also help fight bad breath.

But the secret is in the chewing. Fruits are also good at scrubbing away bad germs, because of the texture.

As a general rule, the pinker the tongue, the better the breath. Conversely, an indicator of bad breath is a white tongue.

It’s not entirely your fault

“Roughly 10 percent of bad breath cases are a symptom of chronic sinus or respiratory infection, reflux disease, liver and kidney disorder, cancer or diabetes. These diseases can release chemicals into the body that result in bad breath,” CNN recently reported.

If you’re experiencing persistent bad breath, it could be a sign of something worse. If this is an area of concern for you, have it checked out with your dentist or family doctor.

Close encounters of the foul kind

It’s hard to break foul-mouthed news to a family member, friend, co-worker or any other affiliation, but just one talk could be life-altering.

Socially and professionally, bad breath is bad news. Sit down with someone you know who has bad breath and inform them that there are ways to kill the beast.

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