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Halitosis Hustle

Morning breath is a major bummer, but for some of us this dreaded oral funk sticks around most of the day. Halitosis is the clinical word for bad breath, and thankfully most cases come down to oral hygiene problems that can be easily corrected. If left untreated, however, it can lead to more serious oral health issues like cavities or gum disease.

Poor brushing and flossing leave food particles in the mouth which are broken down by localized bacteria, producing sulfur compounds that give off an unsavory odor. What you eat plays a part as well. Onion and garlic are among the top contributors. Coffee, alcohol, and diets heavy in meat and dairy may also contribute to bacteria breeding conditions. Make an appointment with your dentist for an evaluation and oral cleaning with precision instruments to eliminate the worst of the odor-producing bacterial build-up.

You’d think antibacterial mouthwash would eliminate bad breath, but it often only serves to mask most of the odor. In fact, mouthwash overuse can kill good bacteria and turn the oral ecosystem out of whack as it repopulates. Just keep in mind that mouthwash isn’t a substitute for proper oral care!

In some cases, halitosis can be an indicator of a more serious health problem. Diabetes can cause oddly sweet smelling breath along with other symptoms like unexplained weight loss and increased thirst. Chronically bad breath may also be an indicator of kidney or liver complications, or an early indicator of lung and throat cancer. If you experience recurring halitosis even aftera change in diet and oral care, make an appointment with your doctor to test for any medical issues.


This DIY mouthwash isn’t just for a spicy kick! Dental scientists have shown that an essential oil from cinnamon can kill oral bacteria, including germs responsible for bad breath. Cinnamon is an antiseptic and contains polyphenols, an antioxidant that combats inflammation and cell damage. Here is a simple, chemical and alcohol free recipe for a morning mouth refresher between dental visits.

1⁄2 tablespoon cinnamon 1⁄2 lemon 1 teaspoon raw honey 1 cup warm water

Combine ingredients and stir until blended, pour into capped bottle. Use as a mouthwash in the morning before brushing.

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