Personal hygiene is an important complement to interpersonal skills. Sharing space with coworkers, friends, clients, and partners can leave us feeling insecure about personal odours. To check whether you are affected by halitosis, or bad breath, you can lick a clean area of your hand or palm and check its odour.
Alternatively, take a clean finger and scrape the tongue in an area close to the throat. If the smell is unpleasant, consider taking steps to improve your breath.
There are actually many health conditions that can contribute to halitosis. Diabetes and acid reflux are some of the non-oral diseases that can affect your breath, but most likely causes relate to dental hygiene or temporary issues. Other observed conditions associated with bad breath include infections of the sinus, nose, throat, and lungs. If the problem of bad breath persists in spite of good eating and dental habits, consult your doctor for further assistance.
Garbage in, garbage out
The scent from strong smelling foods doesn’t disappear after consuming them. Small pieces of garlic, onion, and herbs get trapped between your teeth and in the corners of your mouth. Smells from cheese and fish coat your tongue and throat. Avoid pungent foods, and opt for lighter fare that won’t smell as bad. Coffee drinkers and cigarette smokers often suffer from bad breath as a result.
Practice dental hygiene
Decaying teeth, plaque, and bacteria are the most common reasons for bad breath. Brush your teeth twice a day to remove bacteria from your teeth. Flossing between meals will remove food, plaque, and gum disease. There are dental tools that scrape the tongue, which cleans off bacteria that are removed manually. Rinse your mouth with anti-bacterial mouthwash. Finally, visit your dentist regularly.
Temporary boost to your breath
Drinking lots of water hydrates your mouth and chewing gum activates salivary glands. Dry mouth has been shown to promote bacterial growth which leads to a foul smelling breath. Gum and mints mask odours, but avoid consuming too much sugar, which is bad for teeth. Rotting teeth emit unpleasant smells. Alcohol can also lead to dry mouth, so be sure to stay hydrated while drinking.
Peroxide and fluoride mouth rinses are suggested as well, although you should consult with your dentist who knows your dental needs. Light foods such as yogurt, celery, parsley, can even improve the smell of your breath. Remember that one solution is not a substitute for another. Having good teeth will not do much to combat the smell of strong foods and alcohol.