Bye Bye Bad Breath!

No one wants it, but everyone has had bad breath at one time or another. The good news is it can be prevented, or at least minimized.

It’s true that foods with strong odors, such as garlic and onions, will cause bad breath, and that brushing, flossing and mouthwash simply covers up the odor temporarily. The odor will not be eliminated completely until the foods have passed through your body. Similarly, smoking, or chewing tobacco-based products can cause bad breath, irritate gums and trigger additional issues.

Regular visits to your dentist — a minimum of two cleanings per year are recommended for the average person. These visits help detect what may be the origins for bad breath which can include gum disease, poorly fitting dental appliances, oral yeast infections, dry mouth, and dental cavities.

Many common illnesses may also be the cause, including pneumonia or bronchitis, sinus infections, postnasal drip, diabetes, acid reflux, and liver or kidney problems. In most cases, if you brush and floss your teeth and tongue each day, it can prevent bacteria. If you wear dentures or other oral medical devices they must be cleaned properly each day, or they are will also contribute to bad breath.

For more information on controlling bad breath, check out the Dental Helpline and the Oral Health Foundation, which has helped almost 400,000 people over 20 years, or learn more about tips for controlling it from the American Dental Association here.