Tips to Fight Bad Breath

Halitosis or the bad breath that other people notice when you speak or breathe out in most cases comes from a build-up of germs (bacteria) within the mouth. It can be embarrassing when somebody discreetly whispers to you about your bad breath, even more so when it happens during important events – work presentations, job interviews, or even your first date. Here are some tips to fight bad breath.

The exact number of people with bad breath is not known, but it is common. Here’s a simple test you can do yourself to detect bad breath: lick the inside of your wrist; wait a few seconds for the saliva to dry; then smell the licked part of the wrist. If you detect an unpleasant smell, you are likely to have bad breath.

Eighty percent of all cases of bad breath come from oral sources (like gingivitis, trapped food particles wedge between teeth, cracked fillings and the like). The other 20 percent however, is caused by other factors not related to your mouth and teeth.

The various types and reasons for bad breath – morning breath; dry mouth (xerostomia); lack of fluid in the body (dehydration); as a side-effect of some medicines (for example, tricyclic antidepressants); as a symptom of some diseases (such as Sjögren’s syndrome); following radiotherapy to the head and neck region; foods (garlic) and drinks (alcohol); crash dieting or fasting; and, smoking.

The main treatment of bad breath coming from within the mouth is good oral hygiene. Aim to get into a regular oral hygiene habit – in particular, teeth brushing, cleaning between teeth (flossing), cleaning the tongue, and using mouthwash:

  • Brush your teeth at least an hour after eating or drinking anything – especially acidic foods and drinks.
  • Clean between your teeth after brushing once a day, but ideally twice a day.
  • Limit the amount of sugary foods and drinks that you have.
  • Consider using a mouthwash each day – mouthwash chemicals aim to kill germs (bacteria) and/or neutralize any chemicals that cause bad breath.
  • Consider cleaning the back of your tongue each day. A review in 2006 concluded that, “tongue scrapers or cleaners are slightly more effective than toothbrushes as a means of controlling halitosis in adults.”
  • Chewing gum increases the flow of saliva which helps to flush the mouth to help clear any debris remaining from the meal.

If you have followed our tips to fight bad breath and still have bad breath then see a doctor or your Dentrix Dental Care professional. You may need some tests to assess if you have a less common cause of bad breath.

If you have questions about your oral health routine call Dentrix Dental Care as soon as possible at
403-288-5500 for our Market Mall location or 403-289-9908 for our North Hill location. The goal of our dental clinic team is to help you achieve a healthy, great-looking smile in a professional and friendly environment.