Battling bad breath

Battling bad breath

Bad breath. Halitosis.

Everybody's experienced this no-so-pleasant, often embarrassing occurrence at some point. Most of us wake up with funky morning breath. Others may develop an aromatic aftertaste after eating certain foods. For some, however, bad breath is something they live with on a daily basis.

It's time to stop being worrying about your breath so that you can get a little bit closer to the ones that you love.

Any dentist will tell you that most bad breath is caused by environmental changes in the mouth. The most common change occurs while we sleep. As we disappear into dreamland, the bacteria in our mouth begins to rapidly multiply. If you sleep with your mouth open, you will also develop dry mouth, which only magnifies the intensity of your breath. To avoid this, make sure you brush your teeth or rinse your mouth right before bed. A lubricated mouth is a happy mouth.

Your diet also play a big role in the way your breath smells. There is a running joke that you should eat garlic on a bad date. Garlic has a strong odor that makes your breath extra gross. No one is going to want to kiss you after chomping down some garlic bread. If you happen to like your date and want to get a goodnight kiss, make sure that both of you partake in the garlic. When two people have the same stinky breath, it's not as noticeable. The smell will dissipate as the foods are digested.

For those following Atkins or another low-carb diet, I have bad news for you. Severely restricting the amount of carbohydrates you consume leads to ketone breath. This phenomenon occurs as the body produces ketones to burn energy. The result is a sour, yet fruity breath.

Unfortunately, bad breath is sometimes indicative of a health problem. Those with gum disease often present with halitosis as their first symptom. This is curable if the gum disease is treated. Tooth decay or infected teeth also cause stinky breath. That's why it's extremely important to discuss any long-term changes in your breath with your dentist.

For short term halitosis, drinking water or chewing on gum can help reduce the offensive odor. Smelly breath is easily treating, so you can exhale without worry. What's your favorite remedy for bad breath?