Keeping Bad Breath at Bay
Having bad breath can make you self-conscious, especially when you interact with other people. Although brushing and flossing can help keep odors in your mouth at bay, they’re not always enough. Finding out what’s causing your breath to be unpleasant can help you figure out how to put an end to it so that you can breathe easily around others.
Bad Bacteria Buildup
If you don’t thoroughly brush on a regular basis, bad bacteria have a chance to build up inside your mouth. In addition to causing bad breath, these bacteria also lead to plaque buildup, which increases your risk of tooth decay. If you don’t floss regularly, you can end up with gum disease that can also result in foul breath. Keep in mind that maintaining clean teeth and gums also involves routine dental exams and cleanings.
Certain Foods and Beverages
Some foods have a strong odor that can leave you with bad breath. These include onions, garlic, coffee and certain spices.
Your mouth can become too dry if you don’t have the right amount of saliva. This can happen if you take certain medications or if you tend to breathe through your mouth rather than your nose. You might also get dry mouth if you have any problems that affect your salivary glands.
Having an underlying medical condition, such as diabetes or kidney problems, can give you bad breath. Sinus infections and digestive issues, such as gastric reflux, can also affect your breath.
If you’re a smoker, keep in mind that tobacco products can lead to bad breath. These products give you a higher chance of having gum disease, which increases your risk of having bad bacteria build up in your mouth. If you’ve been using tobacco products for many years, you might not even realize that you have foul breath. These products can reduce your sense of smell, especially with long-term use.
Tips for Preventing Bad Breath
There are many ways for you to keep your breath smelling fresh and healthy. These include the following:
- Clean your teeth regularly with brushing and flossing to keep germs at bay
- Brush off your tongue to remove bacteria that causes bad breath
- Eat foods that boost saliva production to prevent dry mouth, such as apples or other foods that need more chewing
- Chew sugar-free gum if you tend to have dry mouth
Use mouthwash to destroy bad bacteria
- Schedule routine cleanings and exams to make sure your teeth and gums are in good condition
- Give up tobacco products to prevent them from doing more damage
- Remove and clean dentures on a regular basis to get rid of germs
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