(HealthDay News) -- Whether you call it bad breath or halitosis,
it's an unpleasant condition that's cause for embarrassment. Some
people with bad breath aren't even aware there's a problem.
If you're concerned about bad breath, see your dentist. He or
she can help identify the cause and, if it's due to an oral
condition, develop a treatment plan. In the meantime, try these
helpful hints, courtesy of the American Dental Association:
- What you eat affects the air you exhale. Avoid certain foods,
such as garlic and onions, that contribute to objectionable breath
odor. Brushing and mouthwash will only mask the odor
- Brush and floss daily so particles of food don't remain in the
mouth, collecting bacteria while rotting.
- Prevent dry mouth, which may be caused by various medications,
salivary gland problems, or continuously breathing through the
mouth. Use an artificial saliva (prescribed by your dentist), chew
sugarless candy or gum, and increase your fluid intake.
- Stop using tobacco products. Ask your dentist for tips on
kicking the habit.
Bad breath may also be the sign of a medical disorder, such as a
local infection in the respiratory tract, chronic sinusitis,
post-nasal drip, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, gastrointestinal
disturbance, or a liver or kidney ailment.