Maybe you noticed your coworker beginning to lean away from you over a lunch conversation. Maybe your spouse’s nose crinkled as you discussed your weekend plans. Maybe your friend politely offered you some gum during your shopping trip.
What’s the deal?!
It’s probably just bad breath, a common problem for many people. According to the American Dental Association, there are several reasons why your breath could smell less-than-fresh:
Bacteria – Our mouths are naturally full of bacteria, which flourish in the warm, damp conditions. When they’re done feeding on leftover food hiding between your teeth, your mouth’s microorganisms might create a bit of a stench.
Food – If your meal has a strong aroma, chances are it’ll stick in the air you exhale. Was there a lot of garlic in your pasta? We can tell!
Smoking – Like food, smoking will also affect how your breath smells. Because smoking can dampen your sense of smell, many smokers can’t tell when their breath needs a refresh. Bad breath is one of many problems that a smoking habit can cause.
Dry Mouth – Know someone who breathes through their mouth? This can dry out saliva, which works to keep your mouth clean.
Luckily, there are many easy solutions to keep bad breath at bay.
Brush and Floss Regularly – Normal oral care is key to preventing most dental problems. Brushing and flossing help rid your mouth of those excess food and bacteria bits that leave behind a yucky smell. Make sure you show your tongue some extra cleaning care, too; most of the bacteria that cause bad breath can be found there.
Utilize Mouthwash – As a supplement to regular brushing and flossing, mouthwash can help kill off excess bacteria and leave behind a more pleasing scent.
Munch on Something Chewy – The more you chew, the more saliva you’ll produce. Healthy options like apples, or even sugar-free gum, will keep your mouth moving and your salivary glands working.
Stop Smoking – Quitting this dangerous habit can improve the smell of your breath, and can also improve your health at-large.
Clean Your Mouthpieces – Do you use dentures, retainers, or mouthguards? Make sure to give them a proper washing in between each use. This will keep them clean and prevent the production of bacteria.