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Halitosis is also known as Bad Breath by Tina Y. Gerber-McCurley

Bad breath can be embarrassing and even cause you anxiety, whether you are 25 or 85. At any drug store, you will find the shelves overflowing with mints, mouthwash, toothpaste and other products designed to fight bad breath, but these are only temporary measures. Bad breath odours vary, depending on their source and the underlying cause.

The worst breath starts in your mouth. Food is a common cause of bad breath. The breakdown of food particles in and around your teeth can increase bacteria, creating a foul odour after digesting certain foods. This food enters your bloodstream and is carried to your lungs, affecting your breath. In most cases, finding the cause of bad breath is the first important step toward treating this preventable condition.

My Step-Dad was Ukrainian, and we ate a lot of garlic growing up, along with spices, including lots of onions. If you consume coffee, alcohol, or smoke (smokers and oral tobacco users are more likely to have gum disease); if you smoke, try to quit. You will have better smelling breath and a healthier body overall. I would always apologize to my dentist upon arrival, especially if I had consumed a lot of coffee that morning.

Poor dental hygiene occurs when you don't brush or floss daily. A colourless film of bacteria, called plaque, forms on your teeth. Plaque can irritate feedingyour gums and can become pockets of plaque between your teeth and gums. Your tongue can also trap bacteria which produces odours.

Many seniors hate taking their dentures out at night, for soaking. However, if they are not cleaned regularly or properly, or if they don't fit correctly, they may be collecting bacteria, fungi, and the remaining food particles can cause bad breath. Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, but a dry mouth can contribute to bad breath. A dry mouth is often a key part of halitosis. Keep your saliva flowing by eating healthy foods which make you chew.

Carrots and apples require a lot of salvias. If you experience dry mouth, make sure to drink enough fluids throughout the day and use over-the-counter moistening agents, such as dry mouth sprays. A dry mouth occurs during sleep, leading to morning breath, and worsens if you sleep with your mouth open. When there is a decrease in saliva production, the mouth can't cleanse itself and remove debris and particles left behind by food.

Some medications can contribute to dry mouth as well as a salivary gland disorder or increase breathing through the mouth instead of the nose.

Infections, or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat, can contribute to: postnasal drip, causing bad breath, tonsillitis; and respiratory infections, such as bronchitis.

Diseases, such as some cancers or metabolic disorders, can cause a distinctive odour. Chronic reflux of stomach acids (GERD) can be associated with bad breath; even uncontrolled diabetes can lead to unpleasant breath, due to extra sugars feeing bacteria growth. Often, children can have bad breath caused by a foreign body, such as a piece of food lodged in a nostril.

Remember, bad breath can be a clue to poor oral health and hygiene. Severe bad breath can indicate disease elsewhere in the digestive system and other organs.

There are several natural remedies and supplements which can help you heal bad breath. If self-care techniques are not working, see your dentist or doctor to be sure a more serious condition isn't causing your bad breath. In many cases, you can improve bad breath with proper and consistent dental hygiene, and regular check-ups, which can find problems such as gum disease, infections and dry mouth.

Our body is the temple of the Holy Spirit for those who have come to accept Jesus as Lord and Saviour. We can ask God for healing of any extenuating conditions which contribute to bad breath or poor health. As the breath we worship God with is an indication of the condition of how we take care of ourselves, keeping it in clean condition is respectful and proper, not to mention simply healthy and better for us.

Expressing your gratitude and appreciation in prayer is a great way to start or finish your day. So doing that with fresh breath is simply another form of worship.

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