Bad Breath Q & a

By: Sharon Bell

What causes bad breath?
Bad breath or halitosis has many causes. In 80 to 90 percent of cases, it's due to something in the mouth. Poor oral hygiene or problems with the teeth, gums, and mouth are the most common causes. Check your mouth first for signs of problems. Be on the lookout for decayed teeth, faulty fillings or dentures or food trapped between teeth, on the tongue and around the gums. All this can lead to bad breath but they can easily be corrected with proper brushing at least twice a day, daily flossing, and regular visits to the dentist.

While you're at it, don't forget to brush your tongue as well. Do this once a day with a soft wet brush after brushing your teeth or by scraping the rear portion with a bent spoon or an inexpensive tongue-scraper that you can buy from a drugstore.

Can certain foods cause bad breath?
Yes, they can. Common culprits are onions and garlic that can stay on your breath for 24 hours or more. Other offenders are cabbage and sushi, particularly the horseradish that goes with it.

"The strong odors of foods like garlic, onions, and alcohol are carried through the bloodstream and exhaled by the lungs. Another big loser when it comes to turning your breath sour - and harming your health - is tobacco," according to the editors of Consumer Guide's "The Home Remedies Handbook."

While eating and drinking too much of some things can be bad for your breath, so will eating too little. This is what happens to dieters who develop what's called "hunger breath." This is caused by metabolic wastes that reach the lungs. A good snack will remedy this, unfortunately at the expense of the diet!

What foods fight bad breath?
The same ones that fight plaque - the almost invisible film of bacteria that constantly forms in the mouth and causes gum disease and tooth decay. These include celery, carrots, and peanuts. Cheese is also good for your teeth and breath. The most effective ones are cheddar, mozzarella, Edam, Gouda (pronounced "howda"), Monterey jack, Stilton, and Roquefort.

What is "morning breath?" Is it the same as bad breath?
Yes, it is. "Morning breath" is the term applied to the stinking breath you have in the morning. This is due to a dry mouth and disappears once you brush or floss your teeth or have something to eat or drink.

A dry mouth is caused by the lack of saliva. Saliva may not appeal to most people but it performs many useful functions. It contains enzymes that digest food, reduces the acidity of what you eat or drink, and keeps the mouth clean and lubricated. While sleeping, less saliva is produced, leading to the growth of bacteria and bad breath. Older people are especially pone to bad breath since they produce less saliva.

Aside from sleeping and aging, a dry mouth can result from depression, high blood pressure, anemia, diabetes, blocked salivary ducts, AIDS, breathing through your mouth, and certain medicines like decongestants, diuretics, and antihistamines. See a doctor if you suspect you have any of these problems. In the meantime, you can combat mouth dryness by sucking a lemon drop or any hard, sugar-free candy.

Can bad breath be a psychological problem? Find out in the second part of this series. Don't miss it! Now that you know how to deal with bad breath, don't fret. Sleep soundly with Sedamine - the supplement that will help you sleep naturally. Visit for details.

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