bad breath

It can be difficult to tell if you have bad breath, so when eating out at cafes or restaurants you might need to do more than just lay off the garlic and onions on your next date. You may be surprised but alcohol, dried fruit, meat and even mints that are promoted in commercials for their breath-freshening effects can cause bad breath.

Alcohol
Saliva is full of natural enzymes that break down and wash away smelly bacteria, one too many sips of alcohol can actually worsen your breath. This is another excuse to drink water between rounds. Bad breath, or halitosis, is most often caused by a buildup of bacteria in your mouth. Alcohol is a diuretic. When you consume alcohol in large quantities, it dehydrates you and dries out your mouth. This leads to a reduction in saliva production. Without saliva naturally cleaning your mouth, bacteria forms, which causes bad breath.

Mints
Many television adverts claim that a mint is good for keeping your breath fresh, however as soon as that menthol wears off, without your realising it,your breath could quickly take a turn for the even-worse-than-before. Many brand-name mints used to mask bad breath could actually be doing more harm than good; this is because they contain sugar which acts as food for bacteria. Bacteria give off noxious sulphur compounds while they eat away at it. If you want something to keep your breath fresh stick to a sugar-free mint. Theystill only mask any bad breath you’ve got going on, but unlike some menthol mints, they don’t make it worse.

Meat
Those of you who enjoy a nice sirloin or rump steak may be surprised to hear that although it won’t necessarily give you bad breath, if your protein consumption is high, you could have a problem.

When your body gets more protein than it needs, it responds by breaking it down into carbohydrates for immediate fuel. One of the by-products of that process is ammonia, which can escape through your mouth meaning that every time you breathe your breath could end smelling.

Dried Fruit
Dried fruit is said to be very good for snacking on however, it’s not only packed with bacteria-promoting sugar but also comes loaded with non-soluble cellulose fibre, binding and trappingsugars in and between your teeth. If you like to snack on dried fruit, just make sure you brush and floss before the bacteria begins festering.

If you have any concerns about bad breath, don’t be embarrassed; it’s better to find out the cause than to stay silent.

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