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Oral Health Buzz

Halitosis Treatment Options

Diana Bocco

Halitosis, also known as bad breath, treatment can be somewhat tricky, unless you figure out what's causing the problem in the first place. This is why a visit to your dentist might be in order before you can finally get rid of bad breath for good.

If you would rather skip a visit to your dentist for the moment, you can start treating your bad breath at home by doing your brushing and flossing on a more routine basis. If you're not brushing your teeth and flossing after every meal, start by doing that. Halitosis is often the result of bacteria reproducing more quickly than you can remove it. The more you ignore the bacteria, the worse the problem will become, so the best solution is to make sure there isn't any food residue left in your mouth after a meal.

When brushing your teeth to get rid of bad breath, remember these tips:

  • Buy a toothbrush that reaches every area of your mouth. For example, you might need a curved toothbrush to reach the back of your mouth or one with a multilevel trim pattern to access hard-to-clean teeth.
  • Brush your tongue, too. Many odor-causing bacteria reside on the surface of the tongue.
  • Pay special attention to where the gum line and the teeth meet. This is the area where bacteria can develop and work their way into the sulcus of your gum tissue (below the gumline).
  • Rinse with antibacterial mouthwash after brushing to remove bacteria that's hard to reach with a toothbrush.

Here are some other halitosis treatment options to consider:

  • If you smoke, consider options to help you stop. Tobacco irritates the gum tissue, which in turn can make it easy for an infection to take over and worsen your bad breath.
  • Consume less sugar. Sugar is especially good at helping bacteria multiply quickly.
  • If at-home treatments don't work, have your dentist check your teeth for plaque or tartar. Even if you don't see any, it's possible some could have accumulated in hard-to-reach places or under the gumline.
  • If you haven't been feeling well, see your doctor so he can evaluate you Certain illnesses or conditions such as diabetes, kidney problems, sinus infections, liver problems and other medical issues can be connected to halitosis.

Learn more about halitosis treatment in the Colgate Oral Care resources.

Source: photo by Bill Branson

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