Hopefully, if you or your child has bad breath (also known as halitosis or malodor) someone close to you has probably given you a few hints by now. The problem is not only socially humiliating, but it can affect the lives of its sufferers. If this is the case, and it’s been a persistent problem, here are some tips on how to get it under control.
Rule out underlying causes
First things first, we need to figure out why you have it. Several internal medical conditions can make your breath peel the paint, including diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, and chronic bronchitis. Talk to your doctor after your dental visit to rule out conditions like acid reflux, postnasal drip, and other causes.
Good Oral Hygiene
Bad breath is often caused by bacteria in your mouth that causes inflammation and gives off odors or gases. About 80% of bad breath can be attributed to an oral source, such as cavities and gum disease, tonsils that have trapped food particles, cracked fillings and dirty dentures.
Good hygiene habits is key to fighting halitosis. Ideally, you should brush and floss after every meal to help reduce the bacteria in your mouth. Also, see your dentist at least once yearly, or more, especially if tooth decay is part of the problem.
When the food you eat is digested, it’s absorbed into your bloodstream and is then expelled by your lungs. That’s why it’s important to eat a healthy, balanced diet and regular meals. Certain diets — like extreme fasting and very low-carb diets — can give you horrid breath. Also, when the urge hits, snack on raw carrots, celery, or apple slices. These crunchy foods with high water content help rinse your teeth by stimulating saliva flow. Here are some other tips:
Stay hydrated. If you can’t brush after a meal, drinking a lot of water can help speed up the process of cleaning bacteria and debris from between your teeth. Drinking milk can even help deodorize some breath odors.
Chew sugarless gum. Doing so 20 minutes after a meal can help with saliva flow. Gum that’s 100% xylitol-sweetened can even help reduce cavities.
Don’t drink too much coffee. Coffee is amazing for us grown-ups, but it’s a tough smell to get off the tongue. Consider switching to an herbal or green tea at least some of the time.
Don’t smoke or use other tobacco products.