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
- Bacteria. Bacteria breed inside your mouth and stagnate between your teeth and cover your tongue, multiply and give off toxins and stinky odors.
- 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.
- Pungent foods. Foods such as onion, garlic, and fish can cause bad breath — even hours after you brush your teeth.
- 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.
- Tummy troubles. Upset stomach and some low-carb diets, which cause ketosis, can cause bad breath.
10 Tips to Banish Bad Breath
- Brush your teeth — and tongue — twice a day
- Floss once a day
- Gargle with peroxide once a day
- Use a fluoride mouth rinse
- Drink lots of water
- Reduce upset stomachs
- Sinus infections cause bad breath, treat any infections you may have
- Eat yogurt
- Chew gum with xylitol
- See your dentist every 6 months