Lots of people struggle with chronic bad breath. While it’s nothing to be ashamed of, it can be embarrassing. Luckily, there are lots of things you can try to get bad breath under control, from cleaning techniques to different products. If you’re worried about your breath, keep reading for some helpful tips for what to do about bad breath.
What Causes Bad Breath?Before you can treat bad breath, you have to know what’s causing it. There are a lot of different factors that can lead to bad breath. Below you’ll find some of the most common offenders.
- Gum disease. There’s a lot of bacteria in the mouth. Brushing your teeth helps to get rid of some, but if it’s allowed to grow, you could end up with swollen, painful gums. This buildup usually has a foul odor, which means bad breath.
- Infection. An infection in your mouth, sinuses, or throat can lead to bad breath, thanks to the present bacteria. If you don’t have an obvious infection in your mouth and clean your teeth regularly, you may want to check with a doctor to see if you have a hidden infection in the area.
- Food. Foods like onions and garlic have strong smells that linger in the mouth. But it’s not just a recent meal that could affect breath; old food hiding between the teeth can attract bacteria and create bad smells. Flossing after every meal and snack is a good way to keep bad breath at bay!
- Tonsil stones. Tonsil stones are small collections of bacteria lodged in the tonsils. As you’ve learned about bacteria so far, it smells awful, so these bacteria-balls can lead to some overpowering bad breath.
What to do About Bad BreathDepending on the cause of your bad breath, there are a few things you can do to mitigate it.
- Brush teeth and tongue. Twice a day, brush all sides of your teeth thoroughly. Brushing the tongue removes a large number of bacteria and will help prevent bad breath.
- Floss. Flossing removes food debris stuck between the teeth, where it attracts bacteria.
- Mouthwash. An over-the-counter or prescription mouthwash can serve as a final step in your oral hygiene routine to kill any lingering bacteria. Using mouthwash before bed will also help with “morning breath.”
- Talk to a dentist. If your oral hygiene is in good shape and you still suffer from bad breath, talk with your dentist. As mouth specialists, they’ll be able to diagnose any gum disease or oral infection that could be causing it.