Bad Breath: How to Prevent It

man gargling

I’m sure that most of us have struggled with the occasional bad breath, especially after eating smelly food. But if bad breath becomes a regular issue you have to deal with, then it becomes a severe problem. Approximately 1 out of 4 people struggle with halitosis, a medical term for chronic bad breath. It could lead to anxiety and loss of confidence. Thankfully, halitosis is easily treatable.

Poor dental hygiene is the primary cause of bad breath, but it could also be a sign of a more severe health issue. If your family dental care provider has ruled out disease, you might want to look at your dental habits. Even if you avoid food with strong odors, if you don’t brush and floss your teeth daily, stuck food particles will help promote bacterial growth, which in turn causes bad breath.

Reduce alcohol consumption

One easy way to prevent bad breath is to reduce your alcohol consumption. High alcohol content adversely affects your mouth’s microbiome or the naturally occurring microorganisms in your oral cavity. Not all bacteria are harmful to you, and some help keep your mouth healthy.

All that alcohol kills both good and bad bacteria, which can upset your mouth’s ecological balance and cause issues such as a dry mouth. Try drinking diet soda or water instead of wine to help your microbiome return to its normal levels.

Clean your tongue

Another common cause of halitosis is a dirty tongue. If you have an unbalanced oral microbiome, it could lead to the proliferation of anaerobic bacteria or bacteria that thrive in the absence of oxygen.

Since anaerobic bacteria don’t like oxygen, they tend to hide in places that aren’t exposed to air, such as the gums. If left unchecked, all that bacteria produce a sulfur compound that causes bad breath. One way to prevent this is to scrub your tongue of bacteria with a tongue scraper. You can also use a metal spoon if you don’t have a tongue scraper.

Gargle often

Regular gargling can help control the bacterial population in your mouth. You don’t have to use alcohol-based mouthwash as it could upset your mouth’s microbiome. Instead, look for oxygenated mouthwash to introduce more oxygen into your mouth and prevent the growth of anaerobic bacteria.

Drink lots of water

Pouring water from bottle into glass on blue background

It might sound cliche, but water does solve many of your body’s problems. If you don’t drink enough water, your mouth produces less saliva, which then leads to dry mouth.

Saliva helps keep the bacterial and fungal population in check, so you need to keep your mouth lubricated if you want to avoid bad breath. Liquids also prevent food particles from getting stuck, removing food sources for bacteria.

These things will help you keep your breath fresh and minty. If you’re still having trouble with halitosis, you might want to see a dentist as soon as possible. Don’t forget to mention that you’ve tried everything if you want them to prescribe you something stronger.

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