Many people think that halitosis — more commonly known as bad breath — is one of those inevitable issues that comes with aging. Others mistakenly believe it is mainly a problem associated with garlicky Italian food or other strong spices. In reality, however, bad breath can be indicative of poor oral care habits (even if you brush your teeth daily) or an underlying health issue, so if you have struggled to control your halitosis, try these three things, then contact your dentist if the problem persists.
1. Floss more often.
Most people hate to floss. In fact, a shocking two-thirds of Americans say they floss less frequently than once a day or not at all. Flossing removes food stuck between your teeth that brushing cannot dislodge, and that’s important for sweet-smelling breath. Failure to floss can lead to that food sticking around in your mouth and breaking down a little bit at a time while causing plaque, tartar, and tooth decay. And, like most things that are in the process of decay, it stinks.
2. Avoid onions and garlic.
While brushing, flossing, and rinsing after meals will go a long way toward diffusing or eliminating food-based bad breath, some foods actually work their way into your blood stream and make your breath stink from there. Onions and garlic, specifically, travel through the bloodstream to your lungs, where the aroma is exhaled. If you eat a lot of onions or garlic, chances are you will have chronic halitosis that cannot be battled with better dental hygiene alone.
3. Stay hydrated.
If you do not drink enough water for your mouth to make enough saliva, then you could end up with bad breath. This is because a dry mouth is more conducive to holding onto food and also to tooth decay. Drink plenty of water, chew sugarless gum, or try a dehumidifier if you have chronic dry mouth.
Halitosis Can Indicate Serious Health Problems
If you try these simple steps to deal with your bad breath and they do not work, you could have a more serious underlying health issue. Halitosis is related to gum disease, which, like tooth decay, smells bad. It can also be a sign of oral cancer. If your chronic bad breath doesn’t seem to respond to natural treatments like the ones above, you need to see your dentist right away to rule out more serious causes.
Learn more about ways of dealing with bad breath and how to rule out dangerous health issues associated with halitosis at PatCrawfordDDS.com.