Bad breath can be a struggle to deal with, especially if it’s a frequent problem. It can make you feel self-conscious and unwilling to get too close to others. There are many causes of bad breath, but there are many ways to get rid of bad breath as well. Whether you’re struggling with chronic bad breath or it’s a temporary issue, here are a few ways to get rid of bad breath, recommended by Las Vegas dentists.
The best ways to get rid of bad breath partially depend on what type of bad breath you’re dealing with. In this post, we’ll divide our bad breath remedies based on what causes bad breath, and whether this is a temporary condition or a chronic one.
What Causes Temporary Bad Breath?
First off, what causes temporary bad breath? Bad breath is generally caused by bacteria. Different bacteria produce different odors as they metabolize and reproduce. So, anytime you have excessive bacteria in your mouth, you’re more likely to suffer from bad breath. Temporary bad breath might be caused by simply forgetting to brush your teeth in the morning. Or, temporary bad breath might also be caused by lingering odors from particularly pungent foods, such as garlic. With this in mind, let’s take a look at a few ways to get rid of bad breath when it’s infrequent.
How to Get Rid of Temporary Bad Breath
Chewing gum helps to stimulate saliva production, which can help to remove bacteria. Most chewing gum also has a pleasant aroma as well, such as mint or cinnamon, that can mask bad breath. Generally, sugar-free gum works better than sugary gum, since bacteria in the mouth feed on sugars.
2. Sugar-Free Hard Candy
If you’re not a fan of chewing gum, sugar-free hard candies can have the same effect. Similar to chewing gum, look for a candy with a pleasant scent, like mint or cinnamon, to mask bad breath while also stimulating saliva production and washing away bacteria.
Just like garlic can cause bad breath by leaving lingering odors, herbs that smell good can leave scents behind and mask bad breath. As previously mentioned, mint and cinnamon are common flavors for gum and candy, and they work just as well in their herbal form. Parsley, basil, rosemary and similar good-smelling herbs can also work. You might add these herbs to foods where appropriate, use them to flavor your water, or even just chew on the leaves.
4. To-Go Brushing Kit
Forgetting to brush your teeth is a common cause of bad breath. One easy way to get rid of bad breath during hectic mornings is simply to carry an on-the-go toothbrush and toothpaste. Wrap your toothbrush and toothpaste in a plastic bag or carrying case to keep them clean, and simply brush your teeth whenever you get a few spare minutes in the morning.
5. Avoid Some Foods
Foods that contain garlic, onion, seafood, horseradish and similarly strong-smelling ingredients can leave lingering odors. If you’re particularly self-conscious about bad breath, you might avoid these dishes, or save them for times when you aren’t socializing.
What Causes Chronic Bad Breath?
Chronic bad breath, which consistently recurs and won’t go away for long periods, is different from temporary (or acute) bad breath. This type of bad breath, sometimes called halitosis, is more difficult to get rid of. The underlying cause is, most likely, still an abundance of bacteria, though there are usually complicating factors.
Persistent dry mouth, for example, can cause chronic bad breath, since bacteria aren’t washed away by saliva as often as they should be. Some medications can cause persistent dry mouth, which in turn can cause bad breath. Some of the previously mentioned remedies can help with chronic bad breath, as well as the following.
How to Get Rid of Chronic Bad Breath
6. Lots of Water
Saliva is meant to catch bacteria in the mouth and wash it away before it becomes a problem for the teeth and gums. Of course, saliva doesn’t do this job alone—brushing and flossing are the best ways to prevent bacteria build-up—but a lack of saliva will allow bacteria to build up and can be a cause of chronic bad breath.
Drinking lots of water throughout the day can help to stop bacteria from building up. Keep in mind that sugary sodas will deposit more sugar on teeth and make bacteria worse and coffee can create its own odor, so stick to plain old water. In addition to reducing bad breath, water has multiple health benefits, including keeping your joints lubricated, removing waste, regulating body temperature, and more.
7. Mouthwash for Dry Mouth
Mouthwash can be a good way to eliminate bacteria and keep your breath smelling fresh. However, if you have chronic dry mouth (also called xerostomia), regular mouthwash might not be as effective as you’d hope. Most mouthwashes contain alcohol, which can dry out your mouth further. Use an alcohol-free mouthwash instead, which will keep your breath fresh without drying out your mouth further.
8. Brush After Meals
Many of us have a bit of bad breath after we eat. If you suffer from chronic bad breath, this might become more noticeable after eating. You might give your teeth and tongue a quick brush after meals to get rid of lingering bacteria. This might seem strange at first, but it might be helpful to know that brushing after lunch, in particular, is a common practice in many parts of the world, including Korea, Japan, Brazil, Nicaragua and many more.
9. Avoid Tobacco
Smoking cigarettes, cigars, electronic cigarettes (also known as “vaping”), and similar products brings hot, dry air into your mouth and lungs, and will dry out your mouth. In addition to a number of other negative side effects, including higher risks of cancer and cardiovascular disease, smoking dries out your mouth, leaves lingering odors, and ultimately causes bad breath. Other tobacco products, such as chewing tobacco, will also dry out your mouth, introduce more bacteria, and can create odor-causing sores. If you struggle with bad breath regularly, stay away from tobacco products.
10. See Your Dentist
If your bad breath never seems to go away, there may be an underlying dental problem to blame. Gum disease, untreated tooth decay, infection, sores, cancer, and other issues can all cause bad breath. If you are experiencing pain and soreness or you notice swelling or discoloration around your teeth or gums, visit your dentist. Solving the underlying dental issue can help to stop bad breath altogether.