What Causes Bad Breath?

Friday - 06/24/2022

No one likes bad breath. Most cases of bad breath can be traced back to poor dental hygiene and overall oral health care. Most people know to floss, use mouthwash and brush your teeth daily to remove leftover food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath, but did you know there is more you can do to help keep bad breath away?

Continue reading for tips on keeping your breath fresh.

What is Halitosis?

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, has quite a few causes and it's not the extra garlic you’re adding to your meals. Eating pungent food, chronic dry mouth, gum disease and tobacco use are common contributors to less than ideal breath. Halitosis can also show up from underlying medical conditions or as a side effect of medication.

How to Get Rid of Bad Breath

There are many things you can do to help keep your breath fresh, including:

  • Brush twice a day with fluoride toothpaste for two minutes each time – remember to replace your toothbrush every three months or after you are sick
  • Brush your tongue!
  • Never share toothbrushes, even with your children or significant other
  • Floss daily
  • If you have dental appliances such as dentures, retainers and mouth guards, clean them daily
  • After eating, rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash to kill bad bacteria
  • Limit your intake of sweetened drinks like soda, sweet tea, and alcohol
  • Prevent dry mouth by drinking plenty of water throughout the day
  • Snack on healthy, fresh and crunchy fruits and vegetables like apples and celery
  • Quit smoking and/or using smokeless tobacco products (including vaping)!
  • Have routine dental cleanings and check-ups with the dentist to remove bacteria buildup under the gum line and tartar that can't be removed with a toothbrush and dental floss alone

When wearing braces it is especially important to keep your mouth clean because traditional braces harbor food particles and residue. If you're out and about and can't clean your mouth after eating, you can rinse with water, or chew sugarless gum or sugar-free mints. These boost saliva production, your mouth's natural bacteria-fighting resource, which helps rinse away bacteria and bits of food.

Did you know? Eating parsley with your meal has antibacterial and antifungal properties that can help your breath smell cleaner. Leafy herbs, like basil, mint and cilantro also neutralize odors with their chlorophyll. Other foods that combat bad breath include plain yogurt, which fights against bad oral bacteria, sugar-free gum with Xylitol and sugar-free mints.

If you are struggling with bad breath, try adding a tongue scraper to your daily brushing and flossing routine.

If you have chronic bad breath, schedule an appointment with your dentist to make sure you don't have an underlying condition like gum disease.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Advantage Dental Oral Health Center

This blog is designed to provide general information and discussions about health and dental-related subjects. No doctor/dentist to patient relationship is established by your use of this blog or website. We are not providing any treatment or diagnosis on this blog, and it is not intended to offer specific dental or medical advice to anyone. The information or other content provided in this blog is not a substitute for professional dental expertise or treatment. We will do our best to provide you with information that will help you make your own healthcare decisions, however no guarantees or warranties are made regarding any of the information contained within this blog. If you have questions about any of the information presented on this blog, you should consult with your dentist. The dentists at Advantage Dental+ are licensed to practice in the states of Alabama, Massachusetts, Oregon and Washington and this blog is not intended to solicit patients from other states. External links may be provided on this blog as a service and convenience to our patients and other visitors to our blog. These external sites are created and maintained by other public and private organizations, and we do not control or guarantee the accuracy, relevance or timeliness of any outside information.