November 29, 2017
Bad breath happens to the best of us, like after we eat something garlicky or first thing in the morning. But, when less-than-fresh breath a chronic issue, you need to find a solution. If you frequently experience a foul odor or bad taste in your mouth even soon after brushing, these 5 tips to stop bad breath are for you.
#1: Pick Up a Flossing Habit
Good oral hygiene is about more than brushing your teeth regularly. If you fail to floss on a daily basis, you are letting scores of bacteria collect between your teeth and around your gum line. And guess what — it doesn’t smell great. Aside from affecting your breath, not flossing every day also places you at a much higher risk of developing cavities and gum disease.
What to do: The trick here is to start a flossing habit. Set an alarm on your phone as a reminder, and leave the floss somewhere you’re sure to see it at night. They say it takes 2 weeks to pick up a positive habit, so you should be breathing fresher (and healthier) in no time!
Your mouth needs to be well-hydrated to continuously wash away the bacteria that causes bad breath, gum disease, and cavities. If you’re frequently parched, bacteria can collect in the nooks and crannies of your teeth more easily and emit a foul odor. Many adults deal with dry mouth as they get older, and are at a higher risk of developing oral health issues as a result.
What to do: Pack a reusable water bottle in your bag as a reminder to sip throughout the day. If you have dry mouth caused by certain medications, talk to your doctor about possibly switching them to reduce this side effect.
#3: Consider Underlying Medical Conditions
It’s not as common, but certain medical conditions can also have chronic bad breath as a side effect. Some of these include:
- Gum disease
- Sinus infection
- Gastrointestinal disorder
The fix: Talk to your doctor about your risk for any of these conditions.
#4: Tweak Your Diet
It’s no surprise that what you eat can affect the odor of your breath, but in some cases, it’s also what you’re not eating. Choosing a diet based on a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables does two things for your oral health: it stimulates saliva production to help hydrate your mouth, and the crunchy fibers also scrub away plaque to prevent tartar buildup.
What to do: Crunch on an apple in the middle of the afternoon, or bring nuts and raw vegetables to snack on throughout the day. You just may notice a difference in the way you feel, too.
If you suspect there’s something larger behind your chronic bad breath, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your dentist to get to the root of the issue. You’ll be so glad you did!
About the Authors
Dr. Richard Fossum and Dr. Brooke Elmore are general dentists offering comprehensive care to families in and around Temple, TX. To learn more about their services or to pinpoint the source of your bad breath, we invite you to contact the office at 254-778-3900.
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