Dental Tip: Bad Breath

Bad breath affects how you feel about yourself, not to mention how others perceive you. In fact, you may not know you have halitosis until a brave friend tells you.

How can you tell if you have bad breath? A simple way is to stick a clean finger in your mouth and scrape saliva from the back of your tongue. Put it on the back of your hand, wait a minute, then smell your hand. Is it something you’d want to kiss?

5 Common Causes of Bad Breath

  1. Bacteria. Bacteria breed inside your mouth and stagnate between your teeth and cover your tongue, multiply and give off toxins and stinky odors.
  2. Tonsils. The deep holes in your tonsils, called crypts, are a common cause of halitosis. If your tonsils are too wide and pitted substances can collect in the holes and may cause bad breath.
  3. Pungent foods. Foods such as onion, garlic, and fish can cause bad breath — even hours after you brush your teeth.
  4. Bad habits = bad breath. Any type of smoking (cigarettes, cigars, pipe) or chewing tobacco can leave a really nasty taste — and smell — in your mouth.
  5. dinkwaterTummy troubles. Upset stomach and some low-carb diets, which cause ketosis, can cause bad breath.

10 Tips to Banish Bad Breath

  1. Brush your teeth — and tongue — twice a day
  2. Floss once a day
  3. Gargle with peroxide once a day
  4. Use a fluoride mouth rinse
  5. Drink lots of water
  6. Reduce upset stomachs
  7. Sinus infections cause bad breath, treat any infections you may have
  8. Eat yogurt
  9. Chew gum with xylitol
  10. See your dentist every 6 months