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Health & Wellness Articles  ›  Look as Good as You Feel

How to Banish Bad Breath

When a Mint Just Won't Do...

-- By Leanne Beattie, Health & Fitness Writer
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Out with the Bad, In with the Good
Help the world smell a lot sweeter by applying these tips to prevent and treat bad breath:
  • Drink plenty of water. A moist mouth is inhospitable to the bacteria responsible for bad breath. Water also dilutes the concentration of VSCs, making them weaker and less pungent.
     
  • Brush and floss regularly. Brush and floss as soon as possible after meals to minimize the amount of bacteria in your mouth. Buy a tongue scraper (about $3) to reduce the amount of bacteria even more.
     
  • Treat any existing oral diseases. See your dentist regularly, especially if you suspect any type of oral disease, periodontal problem or infection.
     
  • Eat crunchy fruits and vegetables. Chewing apples, celery and cucumber helps keep your mouth naturally clean by removing food particles and plaque while you eat. They also increase saliva flow to keep your mouth moist.
     
  • Cut out coffee. Coffee leaves a film on your tongue that blocks oxygen, creating the perfect environment for bacteria growth. Switch to tea if you need a caffeine fix.
     
  • Chew sugarless gum. Chewing gum will help keep your mouth moist and increase saliva flow. Because the bacteria in your mouth easily break down most sugars into VSCs, choose sugarless gum and say no to mints that contain sugar.
     
  • Eat yogurt. Some research shows that eating one serving of yogurt daily can reduce the amount of odor-causing particles, including bacteria, in the mouth.
     
  • Get your vitamins. Vitamin D creates an inhospitable environment for bacteria. Enjoy plenty of vitamin D-fortified foods (such as milk and other dairy products). Vitamin C (found in berries melons and citrus fruit) also makes your mouth inhospitable to bacteria, but can also help prevent two other causes of bad breath—gum disease and gingivitis.
     
  • Avoid tobacco products. Any kind of tobacco (smoked or chewed) can cause bad breath and a host of oral health problems and diseases.
     
  • Avoid trigger foods. Onions and garlic are two well-known causes of bad breath.
     
  • Check your medicine cabinet. Bad breath is often a side effect of both prescription and over-the-counter medications. Take them as directed, and unless otherwise instructed, drink plenty of water along with your medication.
It can also be caused by certain oral conditions such as mouth cancer, candidiasis (thrush or fungal overgrowth) and dry mouth (xerostomia). Postnasal drip, sinus infections and gastrointestinal diseases can also cause bad breath. If your bad breath cannot be treated with proper oral hygiene, visit your health care provider to find out if you are suffering from an underlying health condition.

Although bad breath happens to the best of us, it's an embarrassing topic for many. No one enjoys being told their breath stinks, and it's equally (if not more) difficult to tell someone else that they need a mint. Once the awkwardness wears off, you can feel happy that someone you know cared enough to tell you honestly so that you can prevent and treat it. Put your best breath forward!
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About The Author

Leanne Beattie Leanne Beattie
A freelance writer, marketing consultant and life coach, Leanne often writes about health and nutrition. See all of Leanne's articles.

Member Comments

  • BETTYCOOPER121
    My sister has problem of bad breath. This tips & advises would surely help her. Thankuu for sharing this article. - 10/22/2013 11:37:01 AM
  • thanks - 2/10/2013 4:22:46 PM
  • MADDISON741
    I have had bad breath, lost my job due to it. tried to find a new job but it's very hard once you stink up the office. I had tonsil stones and awful bad breath. My friend told me to Google Oraltech Labs as it got rid of his bad breath and his post nasal drip. I've been following Oraltech Labs for about 2 weeks now and I feel much better, also people are not avoiding me anymore so it seems to have cured my bad breath as well. - 8/1/2012 8:17:13 AM
  • MADDISON741
    I have had bad breath, lost my job due to it. tried to find a new job but it's very hard once you stink up the office. I had tonsil stones and awful bad breath. My friend told me to Google Oraltech Labs as it got rid of his bad breath and his post nasal drip. I've been following Oraltech Labs for about 2 weeks now and I feel much better, also people are not avoiding me anymore so it seems to have cured my bad breath as well. - 8/1/2012 8:12:40 AM
  • Good to have this info. Especially the advantages of the tongue scraper. I had thought it was just another gimmic. And the info on Listerine...price
    less. I will try the honey and lemon also.
    - 1/9/2012 7:03:01 PM
  • www.therabreath.c
    om products work really well they oxidize the surlfur compounds without alchol. the Mouthwash is amazing it really works you can but this stuff at CVS but I agree about the diet playing a huge role espically dairy it give people bad breath... yuck! - 1/18/2011 12:57:13 AM
  • Very good article. - 10/31/2010 4:56:13 PM
  • BVHACK
    This is a wonderful article! I learned a lot from the comments also. I will stop using Listerine and share this article with my adult Son. - 10/24/2010 11:39:12 PM
  • JOSSISTER
    As a dental hygienist, I think you covered the importance of good dental hygiene, as well as many other factors that contribute to bad breath. I will print this article and share it with my patients! - 8/27/2010 10:48:36 AM
  • thanks for these posts.....I have tried so many things to get rid of the bad breathe for my grandson ...we gave up alcohol mouthwash years ago and went to non.....only helped for a few hours. - 7/23/2010 1:39:12 PM
  • Good atricle! Thanks! Another reason for drinking that water! - 7/12/2010 9:28:47 PM
  • Death begins in the colon. Eat an alkaline diet which promotes good bacteria (prebiotic vegetables esp) naturally, rather than with man-made food (yogurt). The other 'end' won't smell either. ;) - 7/10/2010 9:45:42 PM
  • Simple, practical, timely, do-able. Interesting article. - 7/10/2010 10:35:58 AM
  • Appreciate the info. Thanks. - 7/10/2010 9:51:36 AM
  • DENI_ZEN
    Think about it, gang! One of Spark's positives is that we can't smell each other's breath! Gotta love this place...me, ol' Garlic Breath. - 7/10/2010 8:14:49 AM