If you notice people recoiling away from you when you talk to them, you may have bad breath. One of the more common causes of breath odor is the bacteria in your mouth and specifically on the back of your tongue. If you are not sure if your breath is bad, ask someone close to you how your breath is. It’s hard to know how your breath smells, so you should ask a friend to give it a test for you. If they tell you it’s nasty, ask if this is a chronic thing or just an occasional thing.
If it is not chronic
Bad breath may be the result of food that you ate, the fact that you smoke or that you drank some alcohol. If this is not a constant problem, consider using some mouthwash, brushing your teeth, drinking a glass of water and chewing some gum.
If the problem is chronic
It is good oral hygiene to brush your teeth twice per day, floss regularly and brush or scrape your tongue in the morning and at night. Keep up with regular dental cleanings and drink a lot of water because your mouth will be a lot less smelly if it is moist. Saliva helps to wash away food debris that bacteria feed on, causing bad breath.
What can you do?
Brush your teeth and floss more often. The removal of plaque helps to remove bacteria that causes bad breath. Floss at least one time daily and brush up to three times per day. Take your time when you are brushing your teeth so that you do not damage your gums or wear the enamel down which can expose them to decay.
Rinse your mouth with mouthwash, choosing one that kills germs that cause bad breath. Rinse every day to stop bad breath at the source. Swish plain water around in your mouth after eating to help remove food particles that are stuck in the teeth.
You can scrape your tongue or gently brush your tongue with a toothbrush. If your toothbrush is too large to reach to the back of your tongue, then you need to use a scraper. Scraping your tongue remove dead cells, food debris and bacteria from your tongue.
Don’t eat foods that cause bad breath. Avoid eating onions and garlic. The foods that you eat that can cause bad smells to move to your blood stream and into your lungs where they are breathed out.
What are your favorites?
Drinking coffee or drinking alcohol can dry out your mouth while eating fatty foods or dairy can change the acidity in your mouth which can encourage an overgrowth of smelly bacteria. Some medications can be a cause of bad breath and those including diuretics, antihistamines, high blood pressure medications, antidepressants and pain relievers. These drugs can affect the flow of saliva, causing dry mouth that leads to smelly breath.
What if nothing that you do is working?
You may need to visit your dentist to make a determination of where the bad breath is originating. You may have fractured teeth or fillings where food can become trapped, and that can lead to gum disease and cavities. Bad breath may be a symptom of acid reflux, kidney failure, diabetes or a respiratory infection. Make sure that you regularly see your dentist for care, check-ups and cleanings. Good oral health is an important part of fresh breath, and if you are not caring for your teeth and gums, you can run into many problems. A dentist should be cleaning your teeth should be done once every six months. A check-up at the time of cleaning will show any decay or other issues that need to be addressed.