Beat Bad Breath in a Few Simple Steps

March 3, 2011

Believe it or not, there are only two causes for bad breath: oral hygiene and gastrointestinal health.

Often, bad breath is a result of a dental problem. Gum disease, cavities, and other oral conditions can be to blame. I’m Dr. Brad Greenfield, and if you suffer from bad breath, I invite you to come in for an appointment to make sure the problem isn’t related to your oral health. If it is, I will recommend treatment options to get your mouth looking (and smelling) its best.

If you have ideal oral health, it’s likely that your bad breath comes from your diet. Bad breath odors originate not just inside the mouth, but also from your digestive tract, so what you eat has a huge impact on what others smell when you open your mouth.

Try the following to keep your breath fresh:

  • Fresh herbs, such as coriander, spearmint, tarragon, eucalyptus, rosemary, and cardamom, are all good for fighting bad breath. You can simply chew on the herbs or make them into tea by steeping them in hot water. These herbs are excellent for your digestive system, as well.
  • Active culture, found in yogurt, can reduce the level of odor-causing hydrogen sulfide in your mouth. It cuts back on the bacteria in the mouth and reduces plaque and gum disease. Just be sure to eat yogurt with no overly processed active cultures or added sugar.
  • Crunchy foods like apples, carrots, and celery are great when it comes to fighting halitosis. Fiber–rich fruits and vegetables can increase your saliva production and keep your mouth moist and rinsed out. Saliva helps to restrengthen your enamel after you eat, so follow up meals with a healthy, crunchy snack.
  • Sugarless gum shouldn’t replace brushing your teeth after a meal, but it can be a quick fix for less-than-desirable breath. It also increases your saliva production to rinse away plaque and bacteria. Mints can do the same, but be sure they are sugarless and that you only suck on them for a brief time.
  • Vitamin C is one of the best things you can give your teeth. Berries, citrus fruits, melons, and other vitamin C-rich foods make it near impossible for bacteria to grow. A diet high in vitamin C helps to prevent gum disease and gingivitis, which are both major causes of bad breath.

If you have tried these tips and are still experiencing bad breath, I want you to make an appointment in my Lake Orion, Michigan office. Together, we can come up with a safe and conservative treatment plan to get your mouth back into tip-top shape.

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