Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, is commonly associated with certain foods. Garlic, onion, and cabbage can all cause a foul odor and taste for several hours after you’ve eaten them. This type of temporary halitosis is easily solved by avoiding the foods that cause it. However, in some cases bad breath is a chronic problem that simply changing your diet won’t solve.
Long-term bad breath is caused by the presence of bacteria in your mouth. These bacteria are most often found on the back of the tongue and thrive when your mouth is dry. There are a variety of ways you can help reduce or eliminate chronic bad breath. Some of these include:
Halitosis Avoidance #1 / Practice good oral hygiene
Brush your teeth after you eat as often as possible and at least twice daily. Clean between your teeth using dental floss or another interdental (between teeth) cleaner at least once each day. Food particles between teeth will break down slowly and cause unpleasant odors and tastes.
Related Article: Floss Like a Boss
Halitosis Avoidance #2 / Brush your tongue
Even if you brush and floss your teeth as recommended, the bacteria causing your bad breath may remain on your tongue. Use a tongue scraper or toothbrush to gently scrape away any particles of food or bacteria every time you brush. For best results, place the scraper or brush as far back as you can manage without gagging. This will generally become easier over time.
Halitosis Avoidance #3 / Keep well-hydrated
Dry mouths allow bacteria to thrive. By drinking plenty of water, you can help prevent the bacteria growth and reduce or stop bad breath.
Halitosis Avoidance #4 / Avoid the bad breath triggers
Onions, garlic, cabbage, coffee, and tobacco products are all known to cause bad breath.
Halitosis Avoidance #5 / Chew sugarless gum
By chewing sugarless gum, you increase saliva production and keep your mouth moist. This helps slow or prevent bacteria growth, minimizing chances of bad breath.
Related Article: The Best Chewing Gum for Your Teeth
Halitosis Avoidance #6 / Improve your diet
Crunchy fruits and vegetables, yogurt, and foods rich in vitamins C and D all work to prevent the growth of bacteria, keep your mouth cleaner, and increase saliva flow.
Related Article: Dr. Emery’s Diet
Halitosis Avoidance #7 / See us at Sugar Fix!
Follow your regular schedule of dental hygiene appointments and exams. If you have tried the tips above without improvement, make an appointment for an exam to see if there may be an underlying condition that requires treatment. Treat any oral illnesses, such as decayed teeth, periodontal (gum) disease, or infection, as these might be your reason for chronic halitosis!
For more information about the potential causes and treatments for halitosis, call our office today for an appointment! (773) 883-1818