Bad breath, also called Halitosis, is an embarrassing but largely avoidable problem. Renowned New York City dentist Jan Linhart reports that there are a number of measures that can be taken to not only cover up bad breath, but to prevent it.

"Bad breath is usually the result of food particles sitting in the mouth," states Dr. Linhart. "A thorough brushing routine after meals, as well as flossing once a day, plays a key role in banning bad breath." A mistake that many people make is forgetting to clean their tongues. "Bacteria and food particles building up on the tongue are a major contributing factor, and brushing them away is crucial."

Dr. Linhart also notes that a dry mouth is more likely to be a stinky mouth, saying, "Hydration and saliva production are important." That is why halitosis is more common in the morning; the mouth is much drier then. Accordingly, one should make certain to drink water throughout the day and to avoid excessive amounts of coffee and other strong-smelling beverages. "Products such as mouthwash and breath mints can a great temporary fix," says Dr. Linhart, "but don't address the root of the problem."

Dr. Linhart advises that one's diet may affect his breath. The odors of some foods, such as garlic and onions, linger longer and cannot be banished by brushing and flossing alone; they have to be expelled naturally by the body. Does this mean you should stop eating garlic and onions altogether? Dr. Linhart says not. "This is a case when just masking the odor is fine." Fasting can also contribute to bad breath, as it causes a breakdown of chemicals in the body--yet another reason to maintain a healthy diet.

Occasionally bad breath may be caused by a deeper problem. It can be a symptom of certain diseases, including gum disease, Diabetes and lung, kidney or liver disorders. It can also signify infections of the throat, sinuses or lungs. "Maintaining good oral health is the most important thing you can do to fight bad breath, but if that's not doing the job, speak to your dentist about the problem. He'll be able to advise you on whether or not it may be a signal of something more serious."

Author's Bio: 

Dr. Jan Linhart, DDS, a Manhattan based cosmetic and restorative dentist attracts patients from around the world. Come by our Park Avenue Manhattan office to inquire about our Pearinbrite teeth whitening procedures and other state-of-the-art dental services that we offer including dental implants, iBraces, porcelain veneers, and more