Bad breath can be seriously embarrassing and be the sign of impending dental problems. Most people don’t realize how bad it is!. Fortunately, there are easy ways to fix it.
What Causes Bad Breath?
In most cases bad breath comes from an oral source. For instance, cavities or gum disease can lead to bad breath, as can tonsils that have trapped food particles; cracked fillings, and less-than-clean dentures.
Several internal medical conditions also can cause bad breath. They include diabetes, liver disease, respiratory tract infections, and chronic bronchitis. You’ll want to see your dentist to rule out things like acid reflux, postnasal drip and other causes of chronic dry mouth.
Six tips to banish bad breath
- Stay hydrated. If you can’t brush your teeth after a meal, drinking a lot of water can help speed up the process of cleaning harmful bacteria and debris from between your teeth. Drinking milk can even help deodorize some offensive breath odors. Avoid sugary drinks.
- Don’t drink too much coffee. It may be tasty, but coffee is a tough smell to get off the back of your tongue. Consider switching to an herbal or green tea.
- Don’t smoke or use other tobacco products. Cigarettes can foul your breath. Smoking gives people horrible breath. And more often than not people carry this stuff worse than others.
- Cut back on alcohol. Alcohol can lead to a dry mouth. Too much beer, wine, and hard liquor can make your breath foul for up to eight to 10 hours after you finish drinking!
- Chew sugarless gum. Doing so 20 minutes after a meal can help with saliva flow. Gum that’s 100% xylitol-sweetened can help reduce cavities, gum can also be kind of cooling and gives you really nice fresh breath.
- Be careful with breath mints. Sugar-free mints are OK for a quick fix but only mask the offensive smell and don’t do anything to remove harmful bad bacteria. Tempted to pick up a sugary mint as you leave your favorite restaurant? Don’t. The sugar will only sit on your teeth and make the problem worse.
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