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Home > Dental Conditions > Bad Breath > Bad Breath Symptoms & Causes > Don’t Let Halitosis Breath Snuff Out Common Sense
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Don’t Let Halitosis Breath Snuff Out Common Sense

Halitosis – How to detect whether you have bad breath (halitosis).

Benjamin Franklin once said that "Fish and visitors smell in three days," but halitosis smells immediately and can be worse than either old fish or long-staying visitors. And whether it smells for three days or three decades, you need to evict halitosis breath from your mouth.

The reason? Ninety percent of bad breath halitosis comes from oral bacteria, according to experts at MSN Health & Fitness (MSN). Others acquire halitosis from medical conditions, primarily sinusitis. But even sinus infections can have a dental cause (tooth abscess) and effect (dry mouth, which leads to gingivitis, periodontal disease and more chronic halitosis).

So chances are if you have halitosis you have gum disease; dry mouth; decaying teeth or roots; or another condition that needs dental attention.

Three Halitosis Tests: How Will You Rate?

How do you know if you suffer temporary or chronic halitosis? You know immediately when a close friend or co-worker has halitosis breath. But it's difficult to diagnose yourself because your olfactory organ filters out background smells, the same way you might tune out ringing phones and background conversations at work.

But try these simple tests for bad breath halitosis:

1. Take a deep breath and hold it for 20 seconds. Pinch your nose, let go and slowly exhale through your mouth. Now inhale your exhalation. Can you detect any halitosis funk?

2. Lick your wrist and let the saliva dry for a few seconds. Now take a whiff. Does it smell like bad fish, rotten eggs, decaying fruit or something equally noxious? Or are you falling in love with yourself all over again, confident you don't have halitosis breath?

3. Get a plastic spoon and gently scrape the back of your tongue. How do the tongue scrapings smell? Did you spoon up a smelly stew of bacteria-ridden yuck?

If you do find bad breath halitosis symptoms with any or all of these tests, you might want to seek dental help for chronic halitosis.

Defeating Halitosis Breath Safely

Our heads contain soft tissues, bone, nerves, vessels and more - so we should treat them like eggs, not armored cars.

Here are two things to avoid when self-treating your halitosis:

1. Hydrogen peroxide, or H2O2, in household form (about 3 percent concentration) should NOT be gargled, ingested, inhaled or even touched for long periods, no matter what alternative cure websites say about combating halitosis breath. The Center for Disease Control labels it toxic because it irritates soft tissues. Toothpastes and teeth whitening strips containing peroxide are relatively safe, if not overused.

2. Mints and gums only provide temporary relief from bad breath halitosis and many of them come loaded with sugar. Letting these bounce around in your mouth promotes tooth decay. Watch out for syrupy cough drops too, if you're battling sinusitis and subsequent bad breath. Go sugarless if you want to suppress your chronic halitosis long enough to ride a crowded train without offending.

Classic Causes of Chronic Halitosis

A prime way to increase halitosis bacteria in your mouth is to leave food in your teeth after meals. If snacking often, try to remove debris from gum pockets by swishing water, and chewing sugarless gum. Brushing too often only damages your gums, causing more halitosis breath.

Try eating less garlic and onions for a while to see if that has an effect on chronic halitosis. These carry volatile oils which surf your bloodstream, invade your lungs, and ultimately expel bad breath halitosis. This oily, gaseous ride may last three days.

Ease up on sodas and sports drinks too. Even the sugarless varieties pack acid - avoid, avoid, avoid! Fluoridated water remains your best common sense defense for combating gum disease and halitosis.

Bad Health & Bad Breath Halitosis

Face it; only about 10 percent of halitosis sufferers get bad breath from a medical condition like peptic ulcers, lung infections or disease in the liver or kidneys, according to MSN. The other 90 percent of us get halitosis from periodontal diseases, tongue conditions, dental restorations and throat infections. So unless you're one of the very rare people with bad breath from a medical condition, cut back on the anaerobic (oxygen-snubbing) bacteria in your mouth and you cut back on bad breath halitosis. Keep your mouth moist and clean. Stop using tobacco (another primary nurturer of chronic halitosis) and pick up the floss instead.

Time may cure some ills, but it will not cure halitosis and related dental problems. Been blowing people away with your bad breath? See your dentist.

If you need a dentist, call us. Our number is 1-866-970-0441 and we're available around the clock to help you find a dentist to sort out your chronic halitosis breath.

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