We have all experienced dealing with someone with bad breath at some point. Halitosis is common and unmistakable. The foul smell with every statement or exhalation a person makes is certain to be noted! How do you prevent bad breath, though? Much of the advice you will receive is useful, but may not apply to your own situation.
Bad breath is caused by a wide array of problems, and using a strategy designed to deal with one may not do any good at all to manage another. The most likely causes of the problem range from poor oral hygiene to digestive or metabolic conditions. Even when dealing with oral hygiene alone there are several likely areas to consider.
In cases of halitosis from poor oral maintenance you can usually focus on three different areas: the teeth and gums, the tongue, and the throat. Each needs cleaning, each can harbor the germs and debris that can cause bad breath, but each needs to be dealt with differently.
Most of us are actually well versed in the basics of tooth and gum care. Regular brushing, flossing, and trips to the dentist can ensure that your teeth are not likely to be harboring the colonies of germs that send off fetid scents of rot. However few of us have been taught how to maintain the tongue and the throat.
Your tongue should be scraped and brushed off regularly, as far back as you can manage without being forced into a gag reflex. The thick carpet of taste buds on your tongue can host large populations of germs which are fed regularly with every meal you take.
Scraping and brushing remove these colonies, leaving your tongue clean. A side benefit of cleaning your tongue is an increase in the ability to taste and smell: by removing the layer of germs, along with their wastes, you remove a dulling overall flavor that blankets the taste of your own foods and beverages.
Your throat, too, can be a home to halitosis producing germs, this time most often by way of accumulations of food, dead skin, and dead white cells building up in the folds of the tonsils at the back of the throat. These accumulations, hidden within the creases of flesh, can go unnoticed quite easily, especially if you don’t know to look for them. However the degree of bad breath they can produce is spectacular.
The accumulations, known as tonsil stones, or tonsiliths, can grow to the size of large corn kernels, and must be removed if you are to improve your bad breath. Ask your dentist to examine your throat to determine if you are indeed hosting tonsil stones, and to provide instruction on their removal if you are. Careful but simple hygiene to remove tonsiliths can make a difference in your life far out of proportion to the apparent size of the problem.
After you have dealt with teeth and gums, tongue, and throat, you are ready for a final overall clean up, using a strong antibacterial rinse or mouthwash. There are many good formulas on the market, and your dentist can certainly advise you regarding the most effective.
You can also use a simple, mild solution of hydrogen peroxide. This common household antibacterial is among the most effective and versatile tools you can marshal in your fight against bad breath.