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Halitosis - it stinks

<p>Don&rsquo;t worry, everybody&rsquo;s breath is a little off first thing in the morning.</p> <p>This is due mostly to dehydration. We don&rsquo;t swallow as much in our sleep, we sometimes mouth breathe and we go for several hours without drinking water.</p> <p>This allows more plaque than usual to accumulate and release volatile sulphur compounds, which tend to smell like rotten egg gas. For this reason, it&rsquo;s a good idea to have a big glass of water before breathing on or speaking to anyone first thing in the morning.</p> <p>If you haven&rsquo;t flossed for a while and then decide to clean up your act, you might notice that the plaque you&rsquo;re removing from between your teeth smells like&hellip;.poo.</p> <p>There is actually a type of plaque bacteria known as &ldquo;faecalis&rdquo; &ndash; perhaps that explains it? Plaque also accumulates on your tongue. It can be scraped off with a made-for-the-job tongue scraper &ndash; sometimes the only way to get a smoker&rsquo;s tongue clean again, or you can just use your toothbrush.</p> <p>There&rsquo;s no need to buy the rubber bristle-backed toothbrushes being pushed as the latest must have mouth gadget, just brush your tongue with a standard toothbrush.</p> <p>So if you&rsquo;ve tried drinking more water, flossing and brushing daily, even tongue scraping and things aren&rsquo;t improving then maybe there&rsquo;s more to your problem.</p> <p>Consistent and seriously bad breath could well mean you have serious dental problems &ndash; periodontal disease or a dead tooth.</p> <p>Other culprits to consider include infected tonsils, gastric reflux, medications which dry your mouth such as antidepressants, diuretics, and of course, smoking.</p> <p>Most commercial mouthwashes only mask the smell temporarily and when used long-term can make the problem worse. This is due to the large alcohol content and additives designed to make the mouthwash taste better and look better on the supermarket shelf.</p> <p>Even the mouthwashes recommended by your dentist can seem to be effective at first, but used long-term can negatively impact on the microbial balance in your mouth.</p> <p>There are some natural mouthwashes, based on essential oils and containing no synthetic additives, sweeteners or colours, which I would happily recommend but again, using a mouthwash is not going to resolve a deep-seated halitosis.</p> <p>The only way to successfully treat halitosis is to first determine the cause, deal with it and then make the necessary changes to your lifestyle to prevent its recurrence &ndash; improve your diet, give up smoking, pay more attention to oral hygiene and have your teeth checked regularly.</p> <p>For more information, contact Caree at G Warehouse, www.gwarehouse.com.au.</p>

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