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Dealing with bad breath

Health and wellness information including aging, stress, women's health, nutrition, sleep, and more at SheKnows.com.

You aren't alone

Bad breath, also called halitosis, is an embarrassing condition that can make you want to never open your mouth. Here are some ways you can deal with it.

Your question:

I have bad breath -- and have had it for years. I'm too embarrassed to see my dentist about it. Can I take care of it at home?

The answer:

The causes of bad breath are numerous; what's important to note is that bad breath can be an indication of serious health issues such as diabetes and liver problems, or infected gums or teeth. While embarrassing, it's important to have your dentist evaluate why you have bad breath.

One quick way to help eliminate bad breath is to brush your tongue in the back center with a toothbrush. The papilla that naturally occur on your tongue are longer in that location and can store bacteria which smells. Brushing that area helps remove the bacteria.

Using over the counter mouthwashes can also help, but they cause bacteria to die and dead bacteria can smell even more. You can also try mouth rinses that work on volatile sulfur compounds that cause halitosis.

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