Bad breath, or halitosis, is a common problem for people of all ages. While some bad breath is normal, such as what’s caused by certain foods, bad breath may also be a symptom of something more serious that needs to be treated by a dentist. Here are some common causes of bad breath and their solutions.
Cause: Skipping Breakfast
Breakfast has numerous health benefits, but skipping breakfast can have negative effects on your breath. If you skip breakfast, you miss out on stimulating foul-breath fighting saliva.
Solution: Eat a healthy breakfast that features foods that fight bad breath like nonfat yogurt, apples, strawberries and water. By stimulating saliva first thing in the morning, you are starting your day with fresh breath, and reaping the other health benefits of breakfast.
Cause: Smelly Food
Foods with a strong odor before you eat them are likely to have a strong odor afterwards. Things like garlic, onions, spicy foods, fish and coffee are notorious for causing bad breath.
Solution: Chewing sugar-free gum (or gum sweetened with xylitol) is likely to help cure bad breath caused by smelly foods. You might also try eating something minty (like a sprig of mint) to mask the odor. One useful trick is to use a small dab of mustard on your tongue, which is said to quickly eliminate the smell.
Sometimes certain medications (such as antihistamines) can cause you to produce less saliva, making your mouth dry. Bacteria that often gets washed away by saliva or water is then left to reproduce and leave a foul odor.
Solution: Aside from changing your medication, sugar-free chewing gum may help your mouth by increasing saliva. Drinking more water will also rid your mouth of some of the bacteria that causes bad breath. You can also swish water around in your mouth or use mouthwash to rid yourself of bad breath.
Generally, dairy products are good for your teeth. But they can also cause bad breath because bacteria love to feed on their high levels of amino acids.
Solution: Keep eating dairy; it’s really good for your teeth! But be sure to brush and floss regularly as well, but wait at least 30 minutes after your meal to do so in order to avoid disrupting your saliva production. Rinsing your mouth with water following meals may also help keep bad breath away.
Cause: Mouth Breathing
Breathing through your mouth, especially when congested from a cold, can cause bad breath because it dries out your mouth. But if you regularly breathe primarily through your mouth while sleeping it may be caused by a larger problem.
Solution: See a physician for sleep apnea, snoring or asthma may be in order. They will be able to study your symptoms and decide upon the proper treatment plan for you. Also, try to focus on breathing through your nose will you are awake to get your body into the habit.
Cause: Gum Disease & Plaque
Your mouth may smell because it’s unhealthy. Bacteria allowed to grow between the teeth and around your gums may be causing damage that needs to be treated.
Solution: Aside from regular brushing and flossing, staying on top of regular dental check-ups is essential. Preventative dental care is one of the best ways to keep your mouth clean and to avoid gum disease and halitosis.
Does Your Child Suffer from Bad Breath?
Your local pediatric dentist will be able to help! Use our pediatric dentist locator on our homepage to find the right dental home for your child, and to vanquish bad breath!