Bad breath, it’s embarrassing and it is something no one wants to have. But did you know 70% of Americans admit they are worried they have bad breath.
Causes of Bad Breath
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by eating pungent foods like garlic and onions. Smoking and using tobacco products are also major causes. Other systemic health conditions like acid reflux or xerostomia can make bad breath worse. Saliva is a natural cleanser but when it’s lacking the oral cavity, food and bacteria can stick to teeth, gums and the tongue causing a foul odor.
What to do if you notice bad breath coming from your mouth?
- Stay hydrated. Make sure to drink plenty of water. Water lubricates the oral cavity and washes away food particles and bacteria. Aim to drink six to eight ounces of plain water per day.
- Clean your tongue. The majority of bacteria that causes bad breath lives on the tongue. Regular scraping or brushing of the tongue can help reduce unpleasant smelling bacteria.
- Eat a healthy diet. Increase leafy green vegetables and drink green tea. Consume naturally cleansing foods likes apples, carrots and celery on a daily basis. Limit coffee, sugary foods, dairy and wine and other alcoholic beverages which can cause your mouth to be more acidic and promote bacteria overgrowth.
- No tobacco or vaping. Smoking, chewing tobacco and vaping will dry the mouth out. The additives and chemicals will cause a bad odor. Smoking and chewing tobacco also causes you to lose your sense of taste and smell. If that sense is masked it is harder to tell if your breath smells foul or not.
- Avoid mints and sugary candies. Mints and candy may seem like they improve the smell of your breath. However, they only mask the problem and can make it worse. The mints dissolve and break down into sugars which feeds the odor causing bacteria, fueling the fire. Opt for sugar-free mints. If you must have a mint or chew gums with xylitol. Xylitol is a natural sweetener added to mints, candy, and gum. It attacks and kills the bacteria that causes bad breath and cavities.
- Step up oral hygiene at home. Brush after every meal, floss at least once a day and use an alcohol free mouth wash twice a day.
- Visit us regularly at Dental Design. Do not be afraid to discuss bad breath with the dental hygienist. They are specially trained to detect and determine the sources of bad breath. They will also make suggestions to help manage and improve your halitosis.