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How to Stop Bad Breath

April 18, 2008, last updated July 7, 2017

By Susan M. Callahan, Associate Editor and Featured Columnist
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How do I get rid of bad breath? What causes bad breath? If
you are having a problem with chronic bad breath --"halitosis"
is the technical name-- there are usually simple solutions.  
About 25% to 30% of the world's population suffers from bad
breath, according to a 2012 study from the Department of
Otolaryngology, University Hospital (ASK) in Wroclaw, Poland.

The most common cause of bad breath is poor or inadequate
dental hygiene. In fact, poor oral hygiene accounts for 90% of
all cases of bad breath, the same study from Poland found.

Most people know that we have to brush our teeth daily to
avoid bad breath. But most people also do an incomplete job of
maintaining dental hygiene. Why?

Teeth only make up about 29% of your mouth. So, even if you
are cleaning your teeth, your mouth is still full of odor-causing
bacteria on the gums, roof, floor and tongue.  These areas ---
especially the tongue --- make up 71% of the mouth and are
responsible for most of the foul odors from the mouth.

And, even if you are only concerned about bad breath for social
reasons, keeping a less-than-hygienic mouth can have serious
health consequences, since gum disease caused by bacteria in
the mouth has been linked to an increased risk of heart disease
and stroke. A 2005 study published in the journal Circulation
found that people who have gum disease may be at a greater
risk of developing atherosclerosis and heart disease.

In fact, recent studies have linked gum disease with increased
risk for  Alzheimer's disease and pneumonia as well. (Read
more about the
link between chronic diseases and gum
disease.)

And in 2010, a study led by Dr. M. Kebschull of the Columbia
University College of Dental Medicine and Dr. Papanou of the
University of Bonn in Germany confirmed the link between
periodontal disease and hardening of your arteries
(artherosclerosis). The study found that bacteria from your
mouth contributes to the development of "unstable plaque" in
your arteries, which leads to thrombosis (vein blockage), heart
disease and stroke.

The researchers believe that bacteria can leave people's
infected gums and enter the bloodstream, activating the
immune system (the body's defence mechanism) and making
their artery walls inflamed and narrow.


How to Properly Clean the Teeth, Gums Roof, Floor and Tongue

Teeth. Teeth have to be cleaned on their surfaces (sides and
rough chewing surfaces) and in between the teeth. The best
way to clean in between is by flossing every day.


However, flossing will not remove all food and debris between
your teeth. You will need to use an interdental brush, especially
if you are older or if you have had some periodontal issues in
the past. Interdental brushes come in differnt sizes to fit
different sizes of gaps between the teeth. Choose an
interdental brush that is the correct size for the spaces
between your teeth -- the fit should be snug enough to get all
surfaces of the space but not too small that you have to force
the brush through.

You should also consider investing in an electronic tooth brush.
The vibrations help to further dislodge the smelly rotten food
particles between the teeth. Article continues below.



























Gums, Roof and Floor of the Mouth

To clean the gums, you can use a soft tooth brush to brush the
surfaces of the gums and --this is key-- the point where the
gums meet the teeth. It is in these crevices where food can get
trapped, rot, and stink.  The same goes for the roof and floor
of the mouth. Use a soft toothbrush to dislodge the layer of
bacteria. Follow all the brushing with a mouth wash.

The Tongue

The tongue is the chief source of foul odors in the mouth. Use a
soft toothbrush to very gently clean the tongue. Be very careful
because rough brushing of the tongue can damage your taste
buds.


Stomach and Digestive Track

To do their job, the intestines must maintain a balanced
bacterial environment. It is the bacteria that help to break food
down so that it can be absorbed into the blood stream.
Unfortunately, the rotting process which is necessary for
digestion to work is also smelly. Your feces smell because of
the rotting process.  However, if the bacterial balance in the
intestines is upset, then both digestion problems (diarrhea,
constipation) and odor through the stomach, esophagus and
out the mouth can result.  So, your bad breath could very well
be the result of changes in the bacterial balance in your
intestines.

Try cleansing your bowels with a vegetarian diet. I also can
recommend using a little bit of apple cider vinegar and olive oil
as a salad dressing. Vinegar is a natural anti-septic and was
used for centuries before the invention of antibiotics.















































Related:
Many Chronic Diseases Start with Gum Disease

Stop Gum Disease with These Tips

How to Kill Bacteria Between Your Teeth

Why Do I Grind My Teeth?-Causes and Cures

Burning Mouth Syndrome-Causes and Cures

Sore Throat-Top Remedies

Why Do I Still Bite My Nails?-Causes and Cures

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DIETS AND FITNESS









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MONEY AND BUDGET

RESOURCES

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ASSOCIATION

LINKS AND RESOURCES
Flossing and Brushing the Tongue Can
Greatly Reduce Bad Breath

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