During the shooting of The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part I, Hollywood actress Jennifer Lawrence ate garlic and tuna fish and didn't brush her teeth before kissing co-star Liam Hemsworth! "I gave him fair warning", she said. While warning all people who come close to you might be an option, if you are looking for better (read more social) ways of getting rid of your bad breath, follow the tips below.
Bad breath, also called halitosis, may be a sign of many underlying health problems. However, 90% of the times it originates from the mouth only. Bad breath becomes a problem in socializing, with friends and partners, lowers your confidence and self-esteem and may be a precursor for more health problems to follow. So here's how to deal with it.
- Gum disease, dental cavities where food gets lodged and dental abscesses are all common causes of bad breath. Get a dental checkup done to have these problems attended to.
- Certain kinds of foods are associated with bad breath and you should avoid these till you feel the bad breath is cured. They include onion, garlic, meat, spicy curries, cauliflower, cabbage, coffee and dairy products.
- Avoid smoking and alcohol for at least 2 weeks to curb bad breath.
- Raw fruits and vegetables are rich in fibers that help to reduce bad breath and should be consumed more often.
- Drink plenty of water and do not let your mouth feel dry anytime. This is the most common cause of bad breath in summers, in people who exercise in the gym and in children who spend a lot of time outdoors. It is not necessary to drink a glass of water every time. A frequent sip of water to keep your mouth moist may be enough.
|Common causes of bad breath or halitosis|
- Another common cause of bad breath is prolonged sinusitis. Infected sinus contents drain through your nose behind the mouth leading to halitosis. To add to that, the anti-allergics commonly used to manage sinusitis lead to drying of the mouth - further worsening the problem of bad breath. See your physician for best management of chronic sinusitis.
- Brush your teeth thoroughly twice daily - once in morning and once before retiring to bed. However, brushing the teeth excessively may do them more harm than good. Your brushing technique should be proper, as advised by your dentist. Use a soft, small toothbrush to clean the back of the tongue gently every time you brush your teeth. The back of the tongue is the most likely source of your bad breath if your gums and teeth are in good shape.
- Clean in between the teeth using a dental floss or interdental toothbrush at least once daily. Food debris frequently clings to these surfaces of teeth that cannot be cleaned by brushing alone. Bacteria in your mouth grow on these food particles to produce bad breath.
- Rinse your mouth thoroughly after every meal. If you are taking all the above precautions, you do not need to brush every time you eat. Simply rinsing will tackle the bad breath.
- If you wear any kind of denture or appliance, make sure to clean it as advised.
- Use mints or sugarfree chewing gums to stimulate salivary flow and keep your mouth healthy. Chewing on natural products such as cloves (laung), aniseed or fennel (saunf), cinnamon (dalchini) and cardamom (elaichi) also stimulates salivary flow and freshens your breath.
- Many people troubled by bad breath resort to mouthwashes for prolonged periods. While it is best to ask your dentist about the mouthwash you can use, make sure your mouthwash does not contain alcohol. Alcohol dries up the mouth and adds to your bad breath rather than lessening it. Mouthwashes containing zinc have been shown to be particularly effective in combating bad breath.
- Visit your dentist every 6 months or at least once a year for regular dental checkup and cleaning.
- If the problem persists despite all measures, it is advisable to talk to your physician, as the bad breath may indicate an underlying disease. There are tests available to analyze the type and origin of bad breath.
|Sometimes its better to keep your mouth shut and let people wonder if you are a fool, than to open it and remove all their doubt. - Mark Twain|