Article at a Glance
- Certain foods, dry mouth, underlying infection or disease, tobacco use, and poor dental hygiene are common causes of bad breath.
- For fresh breath fast, chew on parsley leaves, snack on oranges and apples, or try sugar-free mints or gum.
- No bad breath treatments are substitutes for brushing and flossing; many just cover up the odors.
- If you have chronic bad breath, there may be an underlying issue. You’ll want to contact your dentist for a check-up and to discuss your options.
We live in a busy world fueled by coffee and quick meals. When you’re running from home to school to the office and back to school, it’s hard to fit in your normal oral care routine that can leave you worrying about bad breath whenever you open your mouth. Having a back-up plan can prevent you from an embarrassing encounter with bad breath.
What Causes Bad Breath?
To know how to cure bad breath, you need to understand what causes it. When food builds up in your mouth, it allows bacteria to grow between your teeth, around your gums, and on your tongue. The bacteria and the food debris work together to give you bad breath, or halitosis. Determining the cause of your bad breath is the first step in defeating it.
- Dry mouth is a sign of insufficient saliva production. Since saliva washes away food particles, not producing enough means food is left to grow odor-causing bacteria.
- Eating certain foods, like garlic and onions, are known to cause bad breath because of their strong smell.
- Tobacco use not only stains teeth, irritates your gums, and affects your ability to taste food, it causes bad breath.
- Underlying infection or disease, like sinus infections and acid reflux, can contribute to bad breath.
- People with poor dental hygiene can have tooth decay and gum disease that makes their breath smell bad.
Fresh Breath Tips for Busy People
For most people, it’s not easy to drop everything to brush and floss after eating. That doesn’t mean you can’t do something to freshen your breath when you’re on the go. Experiment with these bad breath treatments to see which ones work best for you and your lifestyle.
- Drink more water. Keeping your mouth moist prevents dry mouth and helps wash away food particles and bacteria when you’re not able to brush.
- Herbs are excellent home remedies for bad breath that are also easy to find. Parsley is not just a garnish. Chewing on fresh parsley has been known to fight bad breath. Other options are fennel and anise seeds.
- Carry an orange or apple with you as a tasty snack and bad breath fighter. The vitamin C in oranges help increase saliva production and apples neutralize garlic breath.
- Drinking green tea after a meal is good for your health, including your oral health. It turns out that green tea is effective at fighting bacteria.
- Chewing sugar-free mints or gum can stimulate your salivary glands and mask the bad breath.
- Breath sprays can temporarily cover up bad breath.
- Keep a travel kit on hand. If you have a travel toothbrush, toothpaste, mouthwash and a bottle of water, you can do wonders for your mouth almost anywhere.
Do Bad Breath Products Really Work?
Remember, your on-the-go bad breath treatment options won’t be as effective as your usual oral care routine but it doesn’t mean they won’t help. Some bad breath products can be effective for temporary bad breath relief and they are easily concealed in your purse, pocket, or desk drawer.
- Try a tongue scraper. Found in most drug stores, tongue scrapers can remove debris and bacteria from your tongue that would otherwise cause bad breath.
- Portable mini toothbrushes, like Colgate Wisp, come with toothpaste already applied, are disposable, and can be used without rinsing.
- Breath sprays, like Listerine Freshburst, come in pocket sizes and can even fit on your keychain. Keep in mind that breath sprays just mask the odor and do not treat the underlying problem.
When to Speak with Your Dentist About Bad Breath
What happens when your bad breath is a chronic problem? Underlying conditions, like tooth decay and gum disease, can cause chronic bad breath that won’t be cured by temporary fixes. It is recommended that you see your dentist every six months for an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning so they can identify early signs of problems.
If you are due for a check-up or you have concerns about chronic bad breath, Jefferson Dental Care can help. Contact the Jefferson Dental Care Clinic nearest you to make an appointment!