Who has not been in the awkward position of talking to someone who has bad breath? It even comes to holding your breath or going back a few steps not to be trapped by the bad smell.
Although you may not believe it, most people with this disease known as halitosis have no idea they suffer from it. And this is because, according to specialists, the smell of those people has been desensitized to the pestilential odor that comes out of their own mouths.
Halitosis, which manifests itself in different degrees and has different origins, is known as the set of unpleasant odors that come out of the mouth and is a problem that affects 50% of people.
In most cases, the bad smell comes from their own mouths, especially the bacterial plaque on the tongue. It may also be the result of periodontal diseases, cavities and even smoking. A percentage is also due to respiratory tract and digestion problems.
Dentist and Colgate spokeswoman Karent Sierra acknowledged that the teeth, throat and tongue are suitable for bacteria to grow on their own. Foods such as onions or garlic leave a trace of their presence especially when the person does not brush properly or floss often.
“I recommend to my patients to maintain good oral hygiene, not only by brushing their teeth but also brushing the tongue, flossing and using mouthwash like Colgate Total Daily Repair, which helps kill the germs that cause bad breath and at the same time to repair the daily damage of the teeth, to maintain a fresh and healthy smile,” said Sierra.
However, once a person realizes that she or he has a problem, instead of hiding or trying not to open the mouth for others to notice, the specialist advises three steps that can help: gargling with oral antiseptics, chewing sugarless gum that increases salivation and helps to “clean” the mouth and avoiding long periods of fasting. You should visit your dentist twice a year and keep your mouth clean per the recommendations given by the expert.
If you do not want to be in the top percentage of those who suffer from halitosis, and to go through the uncomfortable situation that when you talk to people, they make certain expressions in their faces or finish the conversation quickly, the dentist advises to drink a lot of water to avoid the increase of bacteria built up that causes bad breath, and to avoid eating red meat, and to rinse your mouth.
There are lots of myths about taking care of bad breath.
Here are three things you may have heard about bad breath that are not true:
Myth #1: Mouthwash will make bad breath go away.
Mouthwash only gets rid of bad breath temporarily. If you do use mouthwash, look for an antiseptic (kills the germs that cause bad breath) and plaque-reducing one with a seal from the American Dental Association (ADA). When you’re deciding which dental products to toss into your shopping cart, it’s always a good idea to look for those that are accepted by the ADA. Also, ask your dentist for recommendations.
Myth #2: As long as you brush your teeth, you shouldn’t have bad breath. The truth is that most people only brush their teeth for 30 to 45 seconds, which just doesn’t cut it. To sufficiently clean all the surfaces of your teeth, you should brush for at least 2 minutes at least twice a day. Remember to brush your tongue, too — bacteria love to hang out there. It’s equally important to floss because brushing alone won’t remove harmful plaque and food particles that become stuck between your teeth and gums.
Myth #3: If you breathe into your hand, you’ll know when you have bad breath. Wrong! When you breathe, you don’t use your throat the same way you do when you talk. When you talk, you tend to bring out the odors from the back of your mouth (where bad breath originates), which simply breathing doesn’t do. Also, because we tend to get used to our own smells, it’s hard for a person to tell if he or she has bad breath.
If you’re concerned about bad breath, make sure you’re taking care of your teeth and mouth properly. Some sugar-free gums and mints can temporarily mask odors, too.
If you brush and floss properly and visit your dentist for regular cleanings, but your bad breath persists, you may have a medical problem like sinusitis or gum disease.
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