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How Do You Prevent Bad Breath?

Video: Dr. Katz shares seven quick tips for preventing bad breath

Bad breath (halitosis), is an embarrassing health condition impacting about 90 million Americans and 30% of people worldwide. The primary causes of bad breath are mouth dryness, lack of saliva flow, accumulated mouth debris, and the proliferation of naturally occurring anaerobic bacteria. Foul-smelling volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs) are released by anaerobic bacteria. Most anaerobic bacteria are found in the gums, teeth, and tongue, although this debris can also accumulate in the back of the throat and near the tonsils.

Diet, poor oral hygiene, illness/diseases, smoking tobacco, drinking, and medications can cause dry mouth and result in chronic bad breath. Luckily, halitosis can often be prevented or reduced through simple changes. Watch the video to learn how to prevent bad breath, then try the following tips to help get rid of bad breath.

  1. Drink more water: Most health experts recommend drinking 6-8 glasses of water a day. Drinking enough H2O maintains the body's fluid balance, helps transport nutrients throughout the body, regulates body temperature, and aids digestion. Water is especially important for oral health because it replenishes saliva and washes away excess food particles and debris from the mouth, thereby thwarting bacteria from feeding and releasing VSCs.
  2. Avoid alcohol-based mouthwash: Alcohol is a harsh drying agent, so alcohol-based mouthwashes can cause dry mouth and halitosis or make both worse.
  3. Avoid sugary mints and gum: One might assume breath mints or gum alleviate bad breath, but they only temporarily mask it and can actually exacerbate the situation. Sugar feeds all types of bacteria so it's best to avoid sugary gum or mints and opt for sugar-free products formulated with oxygen, xylitol, and zinc.
  4. Avoid toothpaste with sodium lauryl sulfate (SLS): This harsh detergent derived from palm oils is added to many hygiene and cleaning products such as laundry soap. Although it's effective at removing stains, oil, and grease from a variety of surfaces, would you ever consider brushing your teeth with laundry detergent? Toothpaste companies use it because it has a foaming effect, however, SLS can exacerbate dry mouth and bad breath and lead to canker sores.
  5. Reduce dairy food intake: Dairy foods contain nutrients necessary for bone health. The problem is consumption can create an oral condition in which dense proteins are easily broken down into VSC excretions by anaerobic bacteria. This is especially true for lactose intolerant people, because the buildup of proteins during digestion is even greater.
  6. Cut down on sugar: In addition to avoiding sugary gum and mints, reducing overall sugar intake is beneficial for general and oral health. The mouth uses sugars to produce glycan strands, which cause thick layers of plaque on enamel and around the gums, potentially resulting in tooth decay, gum disease, and bad breath.
  7. Use oxygenated oral products: Anaerobic bacteria love oxygen-free environments, which is why they thrive in the mouth. TheraBreath oxygenating oral rinses, toothpastes, throat sprays, and chewing gums attack the bacteria responsible for bad breath, leaving your mouth feeling fresh and clean. While you won't see the words bad breath cure here, TheraBreath products are 100% guaranteed to freshen your breath or your money back!
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