By Nurse Diane
My son's breath could actually peel paint. It smells like he has always just eaten garlic pizza. For Easter and Christmas I always put some gum or mints in his basket and stocking.
This is not as uncommon as you may think. There are several reasons for bad breath, or halitosis. Sometime it is because of something you have just eaten, such as garlic or onions, or it can also be the cause of bad oral hygiene. Things such as failure to brush or floss, an infected tooth, broken dentures can all harbor bacteria which can cause a malodorous smell.
Sometimes the cause of bad breath can be even more difficult to diagnose. Some other causes can be Sinus infections, tonsil problems, GERD or acid reflux.
Smoking can also increase changes of bad breath along with certain medications or use of alcohol. A friend of mine who used to drink frequently would visit his dentist after tossing back a few. He said he would feel terrible that his dentist would be subjected to his foul smelling breath, but today he no longer drinks, and he cleans and flosses his teeth regularly.
The first way to help combat this problem is to first brush, floss and use mouthwash daily. If this doesn't end the problem, then you may want to visit your dentist to see if there are any dental problems that should be taken care of. If that checks out then you may need to visit your regular physician to see if there are any health problems that need attention.
Some quick fixes are to:
- Chew sugarless gum. This will keep your mouth moist;
- Chew parsley leaves;
- Use mints;
- Use a breath spray;
- Use mouthwash after meals;
- Brush after meals if possible; and or
- Keep your tongue clean.
Your mouth is a warm wet dark place, the perfect environment for bacteria to grow.
Maintaining good oral hygeine will help to keep your breath fresh and allow you to get close to your loved one instead of having them keep their distance from you.
Today is National Fresh Breath Day, so freshen up your breath and let others around you breathe free.