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Bad breath and what to do about it

Kori Ellis is an editor and writer based in San Antonio, TX, where she lives with her husband and four children. At SheKnows, she writes about parenting, fashion, beauty and other lifestyle topics. Additionally, Kori has been published i...

Get rid of bad breath

Millions of people suffer from chronic bad breath (halitosis). Let's talk about the causes of bad breath and what you can do about it.

Woman with bad breath

1Brush & floss regularly

Bad breath is often a result of bad oral hygiene. The odor could be caused by decaying food particles and bacteria in your mouth. Brush your teeth at least two times a day and don't forget to floss, morning and night.

2Clean your tongue

Many people take care of their teeth, but forget about their tongue. If you gently brush your tongue, you can get rid of unwanted bacteria and bad breath along with it. You can clean your tongue by brushing it with your toothbrush, a tounge scraper or the edge of a spoon.

3


See a dentist

You can get rid of bad breath by seeing the dentist as soon as tooth problems occur. The odor can be caused by an abscessed tooth, infected gums or tooth decay. Even if you aren't having tooth or breath issues, visit your dentist every six months for an exam and cleaning.

4Choose the right toothpaste

A toothpaste that contains natural peppermint oil or tea tree oil can help eliminate bad breath. These oils are known for their anti-bacterial properties and can help fight the bacteria that causes bad breath.

5Stop smoking

Smoking doesn't just cause cancer, it can also cause nasty breath. Cigarette smoking can also lead to periodontal disease. Follow these tips to stop smoking now.

6Avoid odor causing foods

One of the most obvious causes of bad breath can be food. For the freshest breath, avoid garlic, onions, cabbage and coffee. These foods and beverages have odors that linger in the mouth, even after brushing your teeth. If you must drink coffee and can't get to a toothbrush immediately afterward, rinse your mouth by drinking a glass of water.

7Chew cinnamon gum

Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a major cause of bad breath. To increase your saliva flow and reduce dry mouth, sip water throughout the day. Also, chew sugar-free gum that contains Xylitol (a natural sweetener that can reduce cavities). The best flavor of gum for bad breath is cinnamon. Cinnamon doesn't just mask bad breath -- an ingredient in cinnamon gum can actually decrease the amount of bacteria in your mouth.

8Eat a slice of bread

Believe it or not, maybe your low-carb diet is causing your bad breath due to all the meat you are eating. If you have chronic bad breath and can't find another cause, try eating a slice of bread after your meal and see if that eliminates the issue.

9See your doctor

Some underlying medical conditions can cause bad breath. If you have ruled out causes such as infrequent brushing, tooth infection, dry mouth and cigarette smoking, talk to your doctor about what other health issues could be causing your bad breath.

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