Did You Know…?
The medical name for bad breath is halitosis. It can be caused by poor oral hygiene habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can worsen by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.
How Does What You Eat Affect Breath?
All the food you eat begins to be broken down in your mouth. As foods digest and absorb into your bloodstream, they are eventually carried to your lungs and given off in your breath. If you eat foods with strong odors (such as garlic or onions), brushing and flossing – even mouthwash – merely covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not go away completely until the foods have passed through your body.
Why Do Poor Habits Cause Bad Breath?
If you do not brush and floss your teeth daily, food particles can remain in your mouth, which promotes bacterial growth between teeth, around the gums, and on the tongue. This causes bad breath. In addition, odor-causing bacteria and food particles can cause bad breath if dentures are not cleaned properly.
Other causes for bad breath and dental problems are:
- Chewing tobacco-based products can also cause bad breath
- Stain teeth, reduce your ability to taste foods and irritate gum tissues
What Are Health Problems Associated With Bad Breath?
Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in your mouth may be warning signs of gum disease. Gum disease is caused by the buildup of plaque on teeth. The bacteria cause toxins to form in the mouth, which irritates the gums. If the periodontal disease continues untreated, it can damage the gums and jawbone.
Other dental causes of bad breath include poorly fitting dental appliances, yeast infections of the mouth and dental caries.
The medical condition of dry mouth(also called xerostomia) can also cause bad breath. Saliva is necessary to moisten and cleanse the mouth by neutralizing acids produced by plaque and washing away dead cells that accumulate on the tongue, gums, and cheeks. If not removed, these cells decompose and can cause bad breath. Dry mouth may be caused by the side effects of various medications, salivary gland problems, or continuous breathing through the mouth.
There are many other diseases and illnesses, which can cause bad breath. Here are some medical conditions that cause bad breath.
- Respiratory tract infections
- Chronic sinus infections
- Postnasal drip
- Chronic acid reflux
- Liver problems
- Kidney problems
Fenugreek (Trigonella foenum-graecum)
Among the several home remedies for halitosis, the use of fenugreek has proved most effective. A tea made from the seeds of this vegetable should be taken regularly for correcting the condition. This tea is prepared by putting one teaspoon of seeds in half a liter of cold water and allowing it to simmer for fifteen minutes over a low flame. It should then be strained and used as a tea. (This should not be used during pregnancy).
Avocado (Persea Americana)
Another effective remedy for bad breath is avocado, which is far superior to any mouth lotion or remedies for this condition. It effectively removes intestinal putrefaction or decomposition, which is one of the most important causes of bad breath.
Unripe guava is good to use in halitosis. It is rich in tannic, malic, oxalic, and phosphoric acids as well as calcium, oxalate, and manganese. Chewing it is an excellent tonic for the teeth and gums. It helps to cure bleeding from gums and stops bad breath. Chewing tender leaves of guava tree also stop bleeding from gums and bad breath.
Parsley (Petroselinum crispum)
Parsley is a valuable cure for bad breath. Two cups of water should be boiled and several sprigs of parsley, coarsely chopped, should be steeped in this water along with 2 or 3 whole cloves or a quarter teaspoon of ground cloves. This mixture should be stirred occasionally while cooling. It should then be strained and used as a mouthwash or gargle several times a day. Eating the parsley garnish on your restaurant dinner plate will keep bad breath at bay.
All fruit and vegetable juices are beneficial in the treatment of halitosis and should be taken liberally by those suffering from this disorder. Juices from green vegetables are good to help bad breath.