Let’s face it. Bad breath is an embarrassing problem. Some people shy away from social interaction because of it. And forget about intimacy–bad breath makes it uncomfortable to get comfortably close. Can the problem be fixed? Probably. Learn about five common causes of bad breath and solutions to fix it.
When eating odoriferous foods like onions or garlic, the scent lingers in your oral cavity. But these scents can also be absorbed into your blood stream and transferred to the air you exhale. That’s why your breath may have a slight garlicky odor the day after you’ve eaten a big bowl of spaghetti or garlic chicken.
The fix? Lay off the garlic and onions. Brushing and mouthwash might cover up the odors for an hour or two, but bad breath can linger until your body completely eliminates the foods.
Bad Oral Care
Without proper oral care, food particles can stick around in your mouth and collect bacteria. This causes bad breath. And if you really don’t take care of your teeth, you can experience tooth decay and gum disease, both of which cause a foul odor.
The fix? Brush twice a day and floss at least once to remove all traces of food from your teeth and gums. Preventative care at a dentist will also help remove plaque and lessen odors.
Dry mouth is a frequent cause of bad breath. Saliva washes away food particles, so if you don’t have enough, odor-causing food particles stick around.
The fix? It depends on what’s causing your dry mouth. Some medications cause saliva to dry up. Check the list of side effects for both prescription and over-the-counter drugs. Glandular abnormalities may keep your salivary glands from functioning properly. If you breathe through your mouth a lot, you are also more prone to develop dry mouth Artificial saliva drops can help, or talk to a dentist about other solutions.
Smoking and Chewing Tobacco
Smoking cigarettes or cigars or using smokeless tobacco leads to bad breath as well as other not-so-pleasant outcomes.
The fix? Don’t use them. Over-the-counter nicotine remedies can help, or a doctor can write a prescription for a different solution.
The fix? If your dentist can find no reason for your chronic bad breath, see your doctor. He or she will determine if you have a medical condition that’s causing your breath to be less than pleasant.
Bad breath is a problem that needs a solution. If the source of your bad breath isn’t obvious, contact a doctor or dentist for help.