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How to kick bad breath

There's nothing worse than morning breath.
There's nothing worse than morning breath.

 On Friday December 18th, 2009 a woman hit another woman victim in the face with a wooden board. The woman was walking in Seaview Gardens in Jamaica at the time when the victim approached and began speaking to her. The woman then smacked the victim in the mouth causing bleeding and contusions. Upon her court appearance the accused stated, “Your honor, I have been suffering for some time now because of this woman (the victim). She has bad breath and she loves to talk in people’s faces and I warned her not to talk in my face.”

Halitosis affects nearly 60 million people within the United States. In order to avoid getting hit with a board, here are several treatment options to help elude this relationship-straining issue.

There are many causes for bad breath including foods, poor oral hygiene, sinus infections, gum disease, digestive problems, smoking, medications, and dry mouth. About 85-90% of people with bad breath also suffer from dry mouth (also known as Xerostomia). Most people experience dry mouth the most at night when the mouth reduces its saliva production. This is why bad breath is most often noticed in the mornings.

So how can bad breath be treated? There are many expensive treatments from “bad breath treatment facilities” ranging from $50-$200. If that is a bit more than your wallet can handle, try these inexpensive tips:

  • Improve your oral hygiene. This includes doing more than just brushing daily. Be sure to floss regularly and keep dentist appointments. Also, try using a tongue scraper. These handy tools are sold in drugstores and supermarkets for less than $5. They remove bacterial build-ups on your tongue, which causes 80-90% of halitosis cases.
  • Keep Regular dental appointments. Some of these options may not work for everyone, especially if the bad breath is caused by gum disease or other factors. Express your concerns to your dentist and they can prescribe or reccomend a treatment.
  • Chew sugarless gum. Chewing gum stimulates saliva production, which will help fight bad breath naturally. By chewing sugarless gum you wont rot your teeth in the process!
  • Get plenty of vitamin C. Vitamin C deficiency is another cause of bad breath. You can take vitamin C supplements or get the vitamin naturally by eating red peppers, oranges, tomatoes, strawberries, brussels sprouts, broccoli, collard greens, grapefruit, cantaloupe, and cooked cabbage.
  • Use mouthwash with zinc chloride or chlorhexidine in them. These compounds help reduce plaque formation. Try Crest's new Scope mouthwash or Oral-B products.

MythBuster: If you cup your hand over your mouth and nose and breathe you can determine if your breath smells.
False. We cannot tell how our own breath smells by doing this, because people become accustomed to their own odors. Also, people don’t usually emit bad breath until they speak, because the odor causing bacteria propels from the back of the tongue into the air when we talk.  


  • Ann Day 5 years ago

    Chlorhexidene can cause brown staining on the teeth. Usually it is only given by prescription at a dental office. Many people with bad breath have periodontitis (gum disease) and need more extensive treatment. Some halitosis is caused by digestive problems and not just oral health issues.
    Nice article.

    Milwaukee Dental Health Examiner

  • Meghan 5 years ago

    In paragraph 3 I stated: There are many causes for bad breath including foods, poor oral hygiene, sinus infections, gum disease, digestive problems, smoking, medications, and dry mouth. You may have missed that judging from your comment.

    As far as brown staining all products that include this compound indicate a warning on the label stating: "Warning: May cause brown staining of the teeth. This is not permanent and can largely be avoided by brushing the teeth before using the mouthwash, or in the case of dentures, using a conventional denture cleaner. Where normal brushing is not possible, or if any staining remains, your teeth may need scaling and polishing by your dentist after you have finished using the mouthwash."

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