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Halitosis, or bad breath, is a troubling condition that affects 25% of the population. Although bad oral hygiene certainly has a significant impact on the severity of halitosis, it is not always the main cause. Even those with good oral hygiene habits struggle with bad breath.
Although there can be underlying issues that cause halitosis, such as illness or use of specific medications, there are a number of causes that can be addressed. Beyond regular brushing and flossing, here are a few tips to minimize bad breath:
Tongue Brushing or Scraping
Did you know that your tongue as well as your teeth needs to be cleaned regularly? When you eat, food cells and bacteria get lodged on your tongue. When your tongue is not cleaned regularly, these particles begin to decompose, creating an unpleasant odor in your mouth. Develop a habit of brushing your tongue with your toothbrush or scraping your tongue with a tongue scraper every time brush your teeth. Your mouth and breath will benefit!
Avoiding Certain Foods
Certain foods, such as garlic, onions, and coffee can leave you with a residual bad breath that may last for up to three days after consumption. If specific foods are troublesome, you may find that avoiding them altogether can eliminate your bad breath.
Eliminating Dry Mouth
Saliva in your mouth washes away the food particles and/or bacteria that cause bad breath. If you experience dry mouth, you may be more prone to halitosis. Talk to your dentist about a strategy to combat dry mouth, which may include drinking more fluids or chewing sugar-free gum. In extreme cases, a prescription from your dentist may be in order.
Eat Raw Foods
Have you ever heard that an apple is nature’s toothbrush? It is true! Consumption of raw, crunchy, fiber-rich foods can help combat halitosis by cleansing your mouth of bacteria-ridden food particles and remove plaque from your teeth. Foods such as apples, celery, and carrots are great choices.
When you are in need of immediate relief from bad breath, mouthwashes and mints or gum can help provide a temporary mask of your symptoms, however they will not solve the underlying issue.
If you have persistent bad breath that is not resolved by the above remedies, talk with our office about treatment options.