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The Best Remedies for Bad Breath

Although bad breath (also known as halitosis) may sometimes be a symptom of serious illnesses such as lung disease, diabetes or liver failure, the cause is usually much more benign.

According to the Mayo Clinic News Network, the breakdown of food particles and other “debris” by bacteria in and around your teeth can cause a bad odor. Dry mouth – which may occur after sleep or smoking – happens when dead cells decompose on your tongue, gums ere are many causes of bad breath, also called halitosis. Your mouth may be the source.The  breakdown of food particles and other debris by bacteria in and around your teeth can cause a foul odor.  If your mouth becomes dry, such as during sleep or after smoking, dead cells can accumulate and decompose on your tongue, gums and cheeks, causing odor. Additionally, eating strong-smelling foods such as onions and garlic may also be a factor.

All in all, not very pleasant. But the Mayo experts have some suggestions for avoiding bad breath:

Brush your teeth after you eat, even at work. You should use a fluoride toothpaste at least twice a day; toothpaste with antibacterial properties has been shown to reduce bad breath odors.

Floss at least once daily. Doing so helps remove food and plaque from between your teeth.

Brush your tongue. This helps get rid of bacteria and reduce odors. If you have dry mouth, you might want to consider a tongue scraper. Some toothbrushes also have tongue cleaners.

Clean dentures. People who wear bridges or dentures should clean them at least once daily, or as directed by a dentist. If you have a dental retainer or mouth-guard, clean it each time before you put it in your mouth.

Drink plenty of water. This helps to keep your mouth moist. Stimulate saliva by sucking hard candy or chewing gun. If your dry mouth is chronic, you may need an artificial saliva preparation or an oral medication.

Watch your diet. Steer clear of foods like onion and garlic. A lesser-known fact: eating a lot of sugary foods has also been linked with bad breath.

Change your toothbrush every three to four months, or after the bristles become frayed. Choose a soft-bristled one.

Get regular dental checkups and cleanings. Regularly get a new toothbrush. Change your toothbrush when it becomes frayed — about every three to four months, and choose a soft-bristled toothbrush.

Schedule regular dental checkups and cleanings. Generally, you should have these twice a year.

Chew fresh parsley. Chewing parsley may improve bad breath temporarily.

For more information on managing common health conditions, click here to buy The Mayo Book of Home Remedies.

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