Halitosis—or simply, bad breath—is a chronic disease that affects over 80 million people. If you suffer from bad breath, you likely know how annoying and embarrassing it can be. Not only can it hurt your self-confidence, it may also signal the presence of an underlying medical condition. The good news, however, is that 1) you’re not alone and 2) there are numerous ways to reduce the degree of bad breath while also improving overall dental health.

In today’s blog, your dentists at Montana Dental Works would like to share with you some of these helpful tips. As Montana’s Top Rated Local® general and implant dentistry, we take tremendous pride in our dental practice and services. From teeth whitening to dental implants to root canal procedures, we aim to provide the Kalispell area with unrivaled dental care. Contact us today to schedule your appointment!

Below are eight ways you can lessen the effects of chronic bad breath and keep your mouth feeling fresh and clean.

Brush and Floss More Often

This tip likely comes as no surprise, but we must mention it because of its extreme importance to preventing bad breath. By brushing your teeth at least twice a day and flossing regularly, you will significantly help reduce plaque and food debris. Plaque—the sticky buildup that adheres to teeth—is a key culprit of bad breath.

Scrape Tongue

The bacteria that coats your tongue is a big contributor to bad breath. To remove this smelly bacteria, gently brush your tongue with your toothbrush. For an even more thorough clean, invest in a tongue scraper. They are designed specifically to apply even pressure across the tongue and remove all the bacteria, food, and dead cells that you can’t typically reach with a toothbrush.

Maintain Gum Health

Gum disease is a big source of bad breath. When bacteria gathers at the base of your teeth, this quickly creates an unpleasant odor that only intensifies over time. Make a habit out of gently brushing your gums and using mouthwash. If you fear that you suffer from gum disease, consult with your local dentist. He or she may suggest you see a periodontist, a doctor who specializes in treating gum disease.

Avoid Smoking

In addition to increasing your risk for cancer, smoking also damages gums, stains teeth, and gives you bad breath. At this point, we know there is really no benefit of smoking. If you find yourself in thrall to the habit, take small steps to quit. Now more than ever, there is a wide array of proven-effective quitting techniques, medications, and programs.

Eat Fruits and Vegetables

Snacking on a crispy apple, carrot, or stick of celery can help boost saliva and reduce bad breath by washing away bacteria from teeth, gums, and tongue. Not only will these healthy snacks wash away bacteria, but they can also curb your appetite and alleviate the bad breath that forms when acid in the stomach builds up because of hunger.

Chew Sugarless Gum

Rather than opting for a sugary after-dinner mint, instead go with some sugar-free gum. Bacteria loves sugar—it helps promote acid production, which wears down your teeth and causes bad breath. Sugar-free gum stimulates saliva, which functions as a natural defense against plaque, tooth decay, and bad breath.

Up Your Water Intake

When your mouth becomes dry, bad breath flourishes. Naturally, drinking more water throughout the day will reduce dry mouth and also wash away the food particles clinging to your teeth and mouth. Though it can vary depending on your weight, the average person needs around eight 8-ounce glasses of water a day.

Visit Your Dentist Often

The best thing you can do to ensure you’re maintaining good oral hygiene is to visit your dentist regularly. If your bad breath persists despite your best efforts, schedule your dentist appointment. If you have chronic dry mouth, gum disease, or any other underlying problems, they can help. They can also help determine if your halitosis is the result of an internal source and direct you toward a remedy.

If you suffer from bad breath, try these simple steps to make your mouth feel fresh and clean. And if you need a local dentist in Kalispell, contact Montana Dental Works today! From general dentistry to implant dentistry, our dentists leverage their experience, expertise, technology, and passion to provide you with unrivaled dental care.