Bad breath can also be caused by eating and drinking certain foods and liquids. Eating garlic and onions are obvious offenders, but even eating meats can exacerbate unpleasant odor problems. High protein, low carb diets may be great for weight loss because it forces the body to burn off fat. During this process, the liver creates ketones in the blood causing a condition called ketoacidosis and gives the breath a fruity smell. Highly acidic drinks can lower the pH in the mouth allowing sulfur producing bacteria to flourish. This can impart a rotten egg smell. By simply rinsing with plain water can help restore the normal pH and cut down on the proliferation of this type of bacteria. One must be careful about breath mints. That’s not to say that sucking on a simple breath mint after a big, Italian meal presents a problem, but a steady diet of the mints can keep a constant source of sugar which will help fuel bacteria in plaque that makes cavities and causes gum disease. A natural remedy for bad breath can be green tea after a meal. It has antioxidant properties and odor causing bacteria hate oxygen. Add a cinnamon stick to the tea and its essential oils will help combat the odor as well.
The main source of bad breath is from sources other than the mouth. Once the sources have been eliminated, the bad breath tends to go away. In the mouth, taking care of gum disease or areas between the teeth that cause food impaction can go a long way in taking care of a halitosis problem. Another source of bad breath can be from the tongue. The surface of the tongue is covered with very tiny papillae. There are a lot of nooks and crannies that bacteria can harbor in and thus impart an unpleasant odor. There are mechanical tongue scrapers available to clean the surface of the tongue. You can also brush the tongue with you normal toothbrush. If you do that right after brushing the teeth, a small amount of toothpaste will be present on the brush, helping with the cleaning process. Let’s say that all of the bases have been covered and bad breath is still present, then you can resort to mouthwashes. Mouthwashes come in two basic varieties, ones that mask the smell with strong aromatic compounds and those that are anti-bacterial. It is important to not overuse an anti-bacterial mouthwash, because that can upset the balance of the normal flora, and could cause an overgrowth of disease producing organics whose presence would be a whole lot worse than the bad breath that it was meant to correct.
Bad breath can be caused by many sources: sinuses, lungs, stomach, mouth, and systemic disease. The main remedy for bad breath is not by masking it with potent mouthwashes, but by attacking the problem at the source. Sinus issues can be alleviated by a series of allergy shots and by use of decongestant/antihistamine preparations. Lung problems can be helped by proper diagnosis and handling any infection that may be present. For stomach issues, there are a number of good medications available over-the-counter that can ease acid reflux. Systemic problems such as diabetes should be treated through good medical care from one’s physician. A thorough medical examination is a great first step to rule out other sources before tackling issues with the mouth. After a complete medical exam from a physician, the dentist will examine the mouth and look for issues of gum disease or food impaction. Gum disease starts by forming pockets between the gums and the teeth. Food and bacteria can become trapped in these pockets and cause a foul odor. Open contacts between teeth can also trap food. If that has not been thoroughly cleaned out, bad breath can occur. In these situations, the dentist will recommend treatment to eliminate gum disease or to close the gaps by restoring the contact between the offending teeth.