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You can have the last laugh!!

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In a study conducted in parts of the United States some years ago, among women aged between 18 and 35 years, it was found that odour ranked first among top 5 factors they found alluring in men. Not surprising, considering the fact that you smell a person before you see him! Nobody would want to be talked about as not having a beautiful smile, bad dental hygiene, body odour or bad breath. The significant dissmilarity between body odour and bad breath is that pungent body odour is far more easily fathomed than bad breath where the offending person is seldom aware of the condition. This discussion centers on bad breath, bad dental hygiene, the key causes and simple, easy to follow dental care remedies for its control and a beautiful smile.

You may have bad breath (halitosis) because of:

Oral Bacteria: The principal cause of bad breath is bacteria present in the whitish coatingcovering the posterior(back) portion of the tongue. Needless to say, the situation is worsened by poor oral hygiene and an unclean tongue due to lack of awareness about dental care.

Odouriferous foods: Certain foodstuffs like garlic and onion have characteristic offending molecules which are broken down by bacteria and are released and exhaled through the mouth. They can affect a beautiful smile.

Smoking: Just like there is the smoker’s cough, so is there the smoker’s breath which gives it the stink because of the nicotine and other substances derived from tobacco smoke. This can affect a beautiful smile too.

Dry mouth (Xerostomia): A dry mouth is often foul smelling and is perceived in several situations, the most common being the morning breath where the salivary secretion has reduced during sleep and the mouth stinks after arising. Teachers, lawyers and spokespersons also frequently encounter a dry mouth after a span of continuous speech. Also, certain drugs, like antihistaminics cause the mouth to become dry and this is manifested as bad breath by the person on this medication.

Gum diseases, dental hygiene condition such as abscesses, tooth decay poorly maintained dentures, sinusitis and other medical disorders of respiratory renal, hepatic, gastrointestinal origin need to be evaluated to rule out bad breath arising from them.

What you can do to keep bad breath in check:

l. Test your breath: Put a drop of your saliva on your wrist and allow it to dry. Then place your wrist close to your nostrils and take a whiff. If it stinks it shows your breath! Your dentist can also test your breath for you.

An instrument called the Halimeter is devised to check the volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs) in a person’s breath thereby giving him an idea of how bad the situation is.

2. Clean your mouth after every meal as a habit You could use a mouth wash preferably those containing chlorine dioxide or sodium chloride as they are proven bad breath combatants. A tongue scraper can be used to the scrape debris on the tongue as far back as possible for best results although an active gag reflex may be encountered.

3. Make an appointment with your dental hygienist or dentiist: You could undergo a professional dental cleaning at your dentist’s clinic to treat bad breath due to gum diseases as well as have him do a thorough checkup to either eliminate or treat previously mentioned dental conditions like tooth decay which may be the culprits.

4. Adjuncts: Breathmint, lozenges, drops, spray chewing gum are adjuncts which when used along with the other remedies help improve the situation although for a shot while. So, waste no more precious moments in gauging your breath and you may well have the last laugh !!

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