That clean, fresh feeling your mouth has after you brush your teeth in the morning helps get your day started and can give you a boost of confidence. But as the day wears on, your breath may take a nose dive.
To mark National Fresh Breath Day, we’ve identified some potential causes of bad breath and ways that you can maintain clean, fresh breath.
Bad breath can be caused by:
- Foods: Eating garlic, onions and spicy dishes can not only lead to strong odors lingering in your mouth, but after these foods are digested, their chemicals travel through the bloodstream to the lungs where you breathe them out.
- Poor oral hygiene: Not brushing and flossing enough can lead to plaque and bacteria build up in your mouth resulting in cavities, gum disease and infections.
- Dry mouth: Saliva helps clean your mouth naturally. When your mouth is dry and not producing enough saliva, food particles and bacteria remain in your mouth causing bad breath.
- Health issues: Diseases such as diabetes, bronchitis, acid reflex, ulcers, cancers and kidney or liver disease can give off strong odors that can be detected in the mouth.
- Tobacco: Smoking and chewing tobacco cause their own unpleasant odors. Using tobacco can also lead to gum disease, which is another source of bad breath.
You can freshen your breath by:
- Brushing your teeth and tongue at least twice a day and flossing at least once per day. Using a tongue scraper also helps remove bacteria from your tongue.
- Drinking lots of water to rinse and clean your mouth of bacteria.
- Avoiding sweets. Bacteria feed on sugar making bad breath worse.
- Chewing sugarless gum to produce saliva, which cleans your mouth.
- Not using tobacco.
If these tips don’t help eliminate bad breath, consult your dentist or doctor. Your bad breath may be a symptom of a larger medical issue.