By Kate Ranta on Sep 24, 2015 @ 09:00 AM
Few things are as embarrassing as being told that you have bad breath. Worse yet, is not being told. How many times have you, personally, been in close contact with someone whose breath was so bad your eyes started to water? Perhaps you're the person with bad breath, causing others to withdraw and avoid close contact. This can be avoided by simply brushing and flossing, watching your diet and drinking plenty of water.
Ever tried to check your breath by cupping your hands in front of your mouth and quickly inhaling through your nose? Odds are, you have, and you probably thought it smelled just fine. However, you weren't really giving yourself an objective opinion.
There are a couple of ways, however, that you can truly test the odor coming from your mouth. First of all, you can ask someone close to you to smell your breath. It may be a bit awkward for you both, but you'll find out in short order if your breath is okay or not. An easier, more private, way to test your breath is to floss your teeth and then inspect and smell the floss. If you notice a nasty odor, or blood on the floss, you have bad breath.
Halitosis can be caused by a number of different things. In the vast majority of cases, the teeth, gums and tongue are the source of the odor. This is caused by food particles that become lodged between the teeth. Over time, this causes a build-up of bacteria, which release odoriferous gases.
In some cases, however, the cause is a medical condition. Those with chronic bronchitis, respiratory tract infections, diabetes, liver disease, post nasal drip, acid reflux, or other conditions that cause dry mouth may also suffer from halitosis.
Finally, certain types of food could be the culprit. Garlic, onions and spicy foods are notoriously noxious, even hours after they're consumed.
The best way to control bad breath is with good oral hygiene. However, you cannot count on brushing alone to remove the plaque and food. It is imperative that you use dental floss every time you brush. Floss gets down between teeth and gums and loosens food particles so they can be rinsed out.
Drinking plenty of water is another way to control your mouth odor. A healthy diet, consisting of watery, raw fruits and vegetables is also highly recommended. Finally, make and keep regular appointments with the dentist for checkups and cleanings. Not only will your breath smell better when you follow these simple guidelines, but you'll have healthier teeth and gums and your overall health will improve.