Bad breath (or halitosis) is off-putting and embarrassing. It might seem like a little thing, but it can damage relationships in your personal life, and at work. Bad breath can also be a sign of bigger health problems. So what can you do to prevent it? Keep reading to find out.
Know What Causes Bad Breath
There are many causes of bad breath. Common causes include:
Food: Trapped particles of food collect bacteria and cause bad breath. Garlic and onions are notorious for causing bad breath, but other foods can be culprits as well if you don’t practice good oral hygiene.
Not Having Enough Saliva: Saliva washes away food particles and bacteria that cause bad breath, but if you go a long time without eating or drinking, production of saliva decreases and bacteria can grow in your mouth and cause bad breath. This is why many people have bad breath early in the morning. It is also why people who skip meals or try extreme diets may suffer from bad breath.
Medical Conditions: Bad breath can be a sign of gum disease or cavities. Acid reflux, diabetes, liver disease, and respiratory infections can also cause bad breath.
Develop Smart Habits
- Basic oral hygiene goes a long way toward combating bad breath.
- Brush your teeth at least twice a day. Ideally you should brush after every meal. For best results, many professionals recommend using an electric toothbrush.
- Floss at least once a day.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash once or twice a day.
Drinking enough water will help your body produce enough saliva, which in turn keeps your mouth clean and eliminates bacteria that cause bad breath. Keep a water bottle handy at work so you can stay hydrated throughout the day. Drinking enough water won’t just combat bad breath—it will curb hunger and keep your energy up. Try to drink at least 8 glasses of water a day.
Smoking is bad for your lungs, bad for your teeth, and bad for your overall health. Quitting smoking is a difficult task, but the results are well worth the effort.
Choosing Right Foods & Beverages
- Some foods and beverage will make bad breath worse while others help you combat foul odors.
- Spicy foods, garlic, and onions all make bad breath worse.
- The smell of coffee can linger in your mouth for hours and it is difficult to eliminate.
- Alcohol can lead to dry mouth, which leads to bad breath.
- Sugarless gum and candy can help increase the production of saliva and combat bad breath
- Parsley contains chlorophyll, which is known to help eliminate odors.
Crunchy fruits and vegetables such as carrots, celery, and apples all help keep your mouth clean. Try using them as a healthy, low-calorie snack in between meals to eliminate foul odors that build up when you go a while without eating.
Visit Your Dentist
Regular visits to your dentist are already an important part of keeping your mouth healthy—but he or she can also help you combat bad breath. If you are worried about bad breath, schedule an appointment to find the source of the problem and get suggestions for treatment.