Battling bad breath


Bad breath can have causes that aren’t due to underlying disease. Examples include poor dental hygiene, dehydration or recently eating certain foods like onions or garlic.

Occasional bad breath is usually due to bacteria, certain foods or a dry mouth. When bad breath doesn’t respond to self-care, ask your dentist to check for gum disease or poor-fitting dental work or see your doctor for a possible medical cause. To fight bad breath:
• Brush and floss after you eat
Good dental hygiene is the best way to prevent odor.
• Brush your tongue
Giving your tongue, including the back of your tongue, a good brushing removes dead cells, bacteria and food debris. Some people may benefit from using a tongue scraper, available at many pharmacies.
• Chew sugar-free gum
The action stimulates flow of saliva to prevent dry mouth and to wash away food particles and bacteria.
• Rinse your mouth with water
Periodically swish your mouth with water to help keep it clean.
• Don’t smoke
Smoking dries out your mouth and causes its own unpleasant mouth odor.
• Cut down on odor-causing foods and beverages
The most likely offenders are garlic, onions, fish, milk, eggs, legumes, cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, coffee and alcohol.

• Carry mouthwash or breath mints
Not all mouthwashes fight bacteria, but they disguise bad
breath. The strong oils in peppermint, spearmint and winter- green also cover up odor.


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