Bad breath, also called halitosis, can cause a great deal of social anxiety. Few things are as embarrassing as having people back away from you because your breath stinks. The condition can adversely affect both your personal and professional life. Unfortunately, it is nearly impossible to ascertain whether or not you have a bad breath. Ask an understanding friend or family member whether your breath has an unpleasant odor.
For most people, bad breath has a simple cause, as the Mayo Clinic suggests, such as the consumption of certain foods (onions and garlic, for example), the use of tobacco products, and certain medications. In most cases, bad breath can be addressed with lifestyle changes and good dental hygiene. By all means, stop smoking, go easy on the garlic-laden Alfredo sauce, and brush your teeth thoroughly and frequently. Medicated mouth wash can also help to get rid of bad breath by killing lingering bacteria.
In some cases, bad breath can have a more serious cause that requires a visit to the dentist or some other health care professional. A condition called dry mouth, certain infections, and other conditions such as GERD or even cancer. If after lifestyle changes and improving your dental hygiene practices does not address your bad breath, then a visit to the dentist is indicated.
Bad breath can be a sign of an oral problem such as gum disease or tooth decay that your dentist will be able to diagnose and treat. If the problem goes beyond something a dentist can treat, he or she can refer you to another healthcare professional to uncover the cause and to arrive at a solution.
As with all conditions, bad breath is not something that should be ignored or let go of. By all means, deal with the matter promptly.
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