Bad breath is unfortunately apart of our everyday lives. You start every morning off with it and I don't know of one person who enjoys smelling morning breath. Maybe you've heard the phrase "brush at night to keep your teeth but brush in the morning to keep your friends".
It's not enough to just brush in the morning. There's many other factors which can lead to horrible smelling breath. Your diet and what you eat and even genetics can turn you into a victim of bad breath and you don't want to be known as "that person".
Instead we've put together several tips to eliminate bad breath and some educational tid-bits to better understand root causes of this issue.
Top 5 Causes of Bad Breath
Food Stuck in Your Teeth
I'm not just talking about the piece of spinach you can visibly see between two teeth. I'm talking about the tiny pieces that reach to your back teeth that you'll never feel but are definitely there causing your breath to reek!
The foods you eat will play a key role in this cause of bad breath. Foods such as garlic bread and fish for example are culprits that lead to bad breath.
- Chewing sugarless gum, sucking on mints, or using floss and dental picks after a meal will help combat this issue.
Coffee & Cigarettes
Does your breath tend to be stale or unpleasant even after brushing your teeth? Your habits may be at fault here. Coffee and cigarettes are commonly the reason for this kind of bad breath that lingers after brushing your teeth.
Cigarettes promotes bacteria growth that has an unpleasant smell. Even though you can have nice pearly whites your breath can still be foul. Unfortunately there's not a real way to combat cigarette breath other than to stop smoking. Next option is to mask it with chewing gum or mints.
- After a coffee or smoking a cigarette try chewing some gum or grab a mint.
If certain foods give you heartburn and reflux (GERD) it's going to cause bad breath. Typically certain spicy foods or greasy foods like hamburgers can cause reflux. Basically it's when your stomach fluid comes back up into your esophagus.
If you've experienced this then you know how nasty the burps taste that come with it. These burps can leave a lingering smell and it's definitely not a good one. Speak with your doctor on how you can combat reflux.
How long has it been since your last visit to the dentist? Dental issues such as abscessed tooth or cavities can be the cause of bad breath. Bad breath can be a warning signal of a dental issue.
The bacteria from these dental issues causes bad breath. Visit your dentist regularly to keep your dental hygiene in check. I know it can often be dreadful because I personally hate going to the dentist but it's a necessary evil.
Throat & Sinus Infections
If you've had a cold or sinus infection recently and it's accompanied by bad breath you may need antibiotics and not mouthwash. Some of these viruses can leave an infection in your throat and that's where the smell is originating from.
So don't stress to much if it seems bad breath isn't going away immediately after being sick. Give yourself some time after feeling better to know where the smell is really coming from.
9 Core Tactics to Fighting Bad Breath
More Brushing & Flossing
Plaque build up collects bacteria and enhanced bad breath. Brush your teeth 2-3 times a day to keep plaque under control. A very low percentage of people floss everyday but if you really want to take your dental and breath hygiene serious you need to floss.
Just don't overdue the brushing. If you brush to hard or way to much you can actually make your teeth vulnerable to decay.
Rinsing Your Mouth
Rinse your mouth using a mouthwash that states it kills bacteria that causes bad breath. Mouthwash does more for eliminating bad breath than most other oral hygiene products.
Make sure to rinse daily and ideally in the morning.
Scrape Your Tongue
A lot of people forget to brush their tongue. You may notice some people have a white appearance on the center of their tongue. This can be from not scraping or brushing their tongue when they brush their teeth.
Bacteria loves to collect on the tongue and it's very important to brush it. If your brush isn't comfortable to brush your tongue then you might want to look into a scraper. These are designed specifically to scrape your tongue.
Avoid Certain Foods
According to a spokesperson from the American Dental Association (ADA) some foods such as onions and garlic have substances that get into your blood stream that travels to your lungs. This causes your breath to smell right from your lungs.
Simply avoid these types of foods before a important social event where you wouldn't want bad breath.
Drop the Tobacco
Putting the more serious issues such as cancer aside smoking tobacco is a terrible habit. Smoking can damage your gums, stain teeth, and will give you bad breath.
For most people to quit smoking it takes more than nicotine patches. Find local groups in your area that can help you stop smoking. It's a terrible health habit and should be stopped.
Skip After Dinner Mints Go for the Gum
Avoid sugar mints. Bacteria loves sugar and uses it to make acid. This wears down teeth and causes bad breath. Instead opt for sugarless mints and chewing gum.
Gum is the better option because it stimulates saliva. Saliva acts as a natural defense against bad breath and other negative oral hygiene issues.
Keep Your Gums Healthy
Gum disease causes bacteria to gather at the base of your teeth that causes an odor.
If you start to see signs of gum disease contact your local dentist and schedule a visit.
Keep Your Mouth Moist
You can develop tooth decay and bad breath if you're not producing enough saliva. If you have dry mouth drink water and always try to keep hydrated in general.
You can also use a humidifier during the night while you sleep to add water in the air. Doing so will help you stay hydrated through the night and help bad breath.
Visit Your Dentist
If your bad breath doesn't seem to subside no matter your efforts ask your dentist what's going on. You may also need to visit a doctor due to certain medical conditions that cause bad breath.
Foods That Help Your Breath
Studies show that unsweet black or green tea helps fight off bad breath. The antioxidants in these teas destroy the growth of bacteria that causes bad breath.
A study conducted at Pace University found that green tea extracts effectively fought off oral bacteria and prevented their growth.
Eating 6 ounces of unsweetened yogurt every day can reduce the level of odor-causing hydrogen sulfide in your mouth.
Yogurt has a good type of bacteria in it that actually competes with the other bacteria in your mouth. Sounds disgusting I know but it's actually a good thing and will help stop bad breath.
We mentioned it some earlier but it's worth saying again. Keeping your mouth wet keeps your bacteria count lower.
Most bacteria are anaerobic which means they thrive in a dry mouth. That's why we often refer to the "morning breath" term.
Drinking water promotes saliva that'll kill that bacteria.
Parsley and Basil
Ok, so I've mentioned garlic and onions a couple time earlier but did you know there's a whopping 33 sulfur compounds in those 2 that linger in your mouth and even get absorbed into your bloodstream causing you to exhale "bad breath" straight from the lungs.
Parsley and Basil break the sulfur compounds down. You can simply combine some parsley or basil with your dish that has garlic or onions to combat the smelly breath.
Apples and Spinach
Apples and spinach work similar to parsley and basil. They break down the sulfur compounds found in bad breath foods.
You could find ways to combine apples and spinach with meals containing bad breath foods or maybe eat an apple right after that meal.
Either way it'll help with bad breath.
Cherries and Lettuce
Nutritionist David Grotto, author of The Best Things You Can Eat, had stated cherries and lettuce help beat bad breath.
Studies show these two foods remove the smell of methyl mercaptan, an odorous gas released by mouth bacteria as they digest bits of food.
Everyone Prefers Fresh Breath
We've given you several different options to help eliminate bad breath and I'm sure you'll find something suitable that works for you. Don't let bad breath be the death of your social life or even your business life. Take some quick steps to freshen up!