How to treat halitosis (bad breath)

Make your breath sweeter

No-one likes having bad breath. Unfortunately, many people are likely to suffer from it at some stage during their lives. Bad breath or halitosis can be caused by eating highly spiced foods or those containing lots of garlic. Also smoking, drinking coffee or alcohol are often associated with bad breath. However, this is usually a temporary problem which soon resolves itself. The most common reason for bad breath however, is due to bacteria found inside the mouth which can be treated with a little extra care and attention towards mouth hygiene.


Step 1

Test your breath.

Just to make sure you really do have bad breath, why not do a little test on yourself. It’s very easy. All you do is lick the inside of your wrist — make sure there are no remnants of perfume there first! After around ten seconds, have a sniff. If it smells bad to you, then chances are you have bad breath.

Step 5

Chew gum.

Chewing on sugar free chewing gum after your meals is a great way to encourage the production of saliva which helps wash away bacteria. A dry mouth can worsen bad breath, so if you’re feeling a bit parched, chewing on gum is helpful if you’re thirsty. And choosing a minty flavor will help give you fresh smelling breath too.

Step 6

Stay hydrated.

Halitosis becomes more noticeable when you have a dry mouth. A dry mouth can result from becoming dehydrated, using alcohol-based mouthwashes and some medications. With less saliva in the mouth, bacteria becomes more concentrated and evaporates faster. Try increasing your fluid intake to see if this helps.

Things Needed
• Toothbrush
• Fluoride toothpaste
• Sugar-free chewing gum
• Alcohol-free mouthwash
• Dental floss or tape
• Sufficient fluid intake
• Sense of smell
• Dental checkup

Tips & Warnings
• Carry a miniature bottle of mouthwash around with you for use on occasions when you’re eating out;
• Try eating an apple or citrus fruit after a meal as an occasional solution to encourage saliva production. This shouldn’t be used instead of cleaning teeth!
• Use an alcohol-free mouthwash since those containing alcohol can cause a dry mouth;
• A throat infection or excessive catarrh can lead to bad breath so you may have to treat this problem first;
• In a minority of cases bad breath is caused by reflux disorders which can allow odors to escape;
• If halitosis persists, visit your dentist who may be able to spot the problem.


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