Bad breath, medically called halitosis, can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems. Bad breath can also be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other unhealthy lifestyle habits.
You're on high alert against seafood, garlic, coffee and gum disease. But are you aware of these stealth offenders?
- Your Stuffy Nose
Pass the tissues — and some gum, please. When a cold prevents you from breathing through your nose, you're forced to inhale and exhale through your mouth. This dries out the tissues and reduces the flow of saliva — the mouths built-in cleanser, which not only rinses away food particles but also neutralizes decay-causing acids and acts as a natural antiseptic to keep bacteria in check. The less saliva, the more bacteria — and the more potent the odor. An easy remedy (for your breath, if not your cold): Chewing gum — as long as it's sugarless — has been shown to increase the flow of saliva.
- Your Movie Treats
Bacteria have a sweet tooth, too. When you eat sticky candy like gummy bears, cherry vines and even mint chews, …
You can buy a number of mouthwashes over-the-counter that claim to eliminate bad breath. However, keep in mind that many of these mouthwashes generally provide only a temporary way to mask unpleasant mouth odor. There are, however, several antiseptic mouth-rinse products available that instead of simply masking breath odor, kill the germs that cause bad breath. Ask your dentist about which product is best for you.