There’s nothing more embarrassing than getting a whiff of your breath and realizing it’s not so fresh. Unfortunately, bad breath is a worry many have, especially in our busy lives that often consist of coffee, smoking, quick meals, and running out the door in a rush.
We’ve all experienced bad breath at some point. Whether it be from those sliced onions on your sandwich or the extra heaping of minced garlic in your pasta, it’s a common problem that many have. But worry not.
Although there’s no substitute for proper oral hygiene, such as brushing and flossing, there are some things you can do to get rid of bad breath fast when you’re in a pinch.
What Causes Bad Breath?
To know how to get rid of bad breath, you first need to understand what is causing it. There are several reasons why you may be suffering from bad breath or halitosis.
Bacteria – One of the main culprits of bad breath is bacteria in the mouth. Our teeth have tiny spaces between them, separating them from one another. No matter how tiny they may seem, those spaces are magnets for collecting small food particles, such as popcorn and strands of meat. Food can also get stuck in the very back of your mouth and wherever you have any gaps. When food builds up in your mouth, it causes bacteria to form, leading to an unpleasant smell. It’s sort of like rotten food. We know it sounds gross, but unfortunately, it’s common.
Dy Mouth – Saliva is vital for healthy oral care. It has natural antimicrobial properties that help to rinse the mouth of bacteria. Not producing enough saliva can cause bacteria to grow and begin smelling.
Infection – Underlying health diseases and infections (whether it be in the mouth or somewhere else, such as your sinuses) can often lead to bad breath.
Poor Dental Hygiene – This is an obvious bad breath culprit. Not practicing good oral care can lead to tooth decay and gum disease, making breath smell bad.
Eating Certain Foods – Consuming foods like onions and garlic is known to linger. This is because these foods are rich in sulfur compounds, and when chewed, they release gasses. When these gasses mix with the bacteria already present in the mouth, it results in pungent breath for hours.
Smoking – This is another obvious reason. Not only does tobacco leave a bad smell behind, but smoking can also lead to other oral health issues, including tooth loss, gum disease, and dry mouth. All of which can cause bad breath. Oral care and smoking don’t mix.
Quick Fixes – How To Treat Bad Breath
Now that you know what causes your bad breath let’s focus on some easy remedies to get rid of bad breath. Brushing and flossing are always the best options when trying to freshen up your breath. However, it’s not always possible and the easy option when you’re out and about. So, aside from brushing and flossing, try these tips to get rid of bad breath.
Drink Plenty of Water – We just mentioned how dry mouth can lead to the formation of bacteria, so it makes sense that keeping your mouth moist would help. By drinking water, you are helping to wash away any food debris that may be stuck.
Chew Sugar-free Gum – Chewing gum stimulates your salivary glands, which in turn creates saliva. The gum’s flavor can also help to mask bad breath temporarily.
Rinse With Saltwater – If you’re constantly finding yourself a victim of halitosis, try rinsing your mouth with warm saltwater. One study found that rinsing your mouth with a glass of water helped remove up to 60 percent of the substances contributing to bad breath. In addition, using salt helps to bring the bacteria to the surface so it can be more easily eliminated.
Add Herbs To Your Diet – Herbs aren’t just great for adding flavor to your dishes; they’re also great for getting rid of bad breath. Fresh mint, cilantro, and parsley are excellent home remedies for bad breath. Fennel, which tastes like black licorice, is also a great option, and it helps prevent plaque buildup and gum disease.
Stop Smoking and Avoid Certain Foods – Back to the obvious. If you eliminate what’s causing the bad breath, you won’t have bad breath. However, if you do end up with garlic or onion breath, eat an apple. Apples have compounds that neutralize the garlic and onion smell.
Schedule Your Routine Cleaning For Fresh Breath
No matter what you do, the best way to get rid of bad breath is to practice good oral hygiene and have routine cleanings. This helps prevent any underlying oral conditions that can lead to bad breath.
Temporary fixes are just that, temporary. You can mask bad breath, but if you have an underlying cause, it isn’t going to go away on its own. So, if you suffer from chronic bad breath, schedule an appointment with your dentist today. And, when you are just having one of those bad breath days, follow the tips above and keep on smiling.