Clear Aligners

How to combat bad breath

Posted on May 4th, 2020

Bad breath happens.

If you've ever gotten that not-so-fresh feeling on a date, at a job interview, or even just talking with your friends, you're not alone. Studies show that 50% of adults have had bad breath, also known as halitosis, at some point in their lives.

Bad breath can be caused by external and internal factors. The external factors can be the types of food consumed, such as spicy or odorus in nature (think garlic, onions, tuna or tacos). If you think your bad breath is related to the foods you are consuming, consider recording the food you are eating to determine if this is the reason.

Internal factors include oral factors that can affect the body systemically. For example, the tongue provides a place for bacteria to attach and grow. Most odor-causing bacteria produce compounds that cause bad breath - these are called volatile sulfur compounds (VSCs). The primary VSCs that cause bad breath are hydrogen sulfide and methyl mercaptan which reside in the posterior area of the tongue.

How can you combat bad breath?

Brush and floss, consistently

Brushing twice a day and taking time to clean between your teeth daily with floss will get rid of the bacteria that causes bad breath.

Use mouthwash

Over-the-counter mouthwashes will help kill bacteria or neutralize and temporarily mask bad breath. Emphasis on mouthwash being a temporary solution. Mouthwash cannot take the place of brushing and flossing your teeth.

Keep your saliva flowing

In order to get more saliva moving in your mouth, try eating healthy foods that require a lot of chewing, such as carrots. Another option is to try chewing sugar-free gum.

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