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Bad Breath

Bad Breath: 3 Things You Must Now

While everyone struggles with bad breath from time to time — especially upon first waking or after eating something containing a lot of onions or garlic — The American Breath Specialists reports that approximately 60 million people suffer from chronic bad breath, also known as halitosis. Whether regular brushing and flossing aren't helping or you just want to know how to make your breath even fresher, here's what you need to know.

1. It may not just be the food you eat.

It's true that most bad breath is caused at least in part by what you're eating. When you start to chew, the teeth and saliva start breaking down food into something easier for your digestive system to deal with. Some of these particles are going to be left behind, and that's what causes your breath to smell like whatever you just ate. However, for those who suffer from chronic bad breath, it could be a sign of an underlying health condition, such as:

  • A respiratory infection
  • A yeast infection in the mouth, also called thrush
  • Diabetes
  • Liver or kidney problems

If you're struggling to keep up with bad breath even with proper oral hygiene, talking to your dentist about your concerns can ensure you're not missing something bigger.

2. Brushing and flossing can make a big difference.

Most bad breath is caused by poor oral hygiene. While 70 percent of people do brush the recommended twice a day, most people don't brush for the full two minutes each time that dentists recommend. According to the same study by Delta Dental, only 40 percent of Americans floss once a day, and a full 20 percent never floss at all.

If you're struggling with bad breath, you want to at least be hitting the recommended brushing and flossing amounts and times, but you may need to go above and beyond. Brushing immediately after each meal can help keep bacteria from getting a chance to grow, and using a non-alcoholic mouth rinse can also help your breath stay fresh.

3. Seeing your dentist regularly is important.

Getting a full checkup at your dentist every six months is a crucial part of keeping your teeth and gums healthy. Bad breath can be caused by gingivitis, periodontal disease and even regular old cavities. Your dentist will be able to tell if you're suffering from any of these issues and fix them.

While it may be embarrassing, there's no reason to suffer from chronic bad breath. Talk to your dentist about your issues — they've heard it all before and will be able to provide suggestions so you can get back to living your life with confidence.

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