At a recent Health & Wellness Day at Waimea Canyon Middle School, each 8th grade class asked about the same thing: What causes “stink breath,” and how can it be avoided?
Stink breath, or halitosis, is more than just a middle school worry. We all experience bad breath occasionally, usually the result of eating certain foods. However, if funky breath persists, you might need to be more proactive.
1. Clean Your Tongue
Food and bacteria can collect on your tongue. Invest in a “tongue scraper” and use it every time you brush your teeth.
2. Drink Plenty of Water
Smoking, coffee, and certain medications may cause dry mouth. When there isn’t enough saliva in your mouth to wash away bacteria and food particles, bad breath happens. Stay hydrated by drinking lots
of water throughout the day.
3. Brush and Floss After Every Meal and Have Regular Professional Cleanings
Food and bacteria that isn’t removed will give off odors. Over time, this plaque calcifies into tartar, which causes inflamed gums to trap even more debris in a downward, smelly cycle.
Take heart! Bad breath can usually be eliminated, but it can be a symptom of a more significant problem like gum disease or a medical condition. If stink breath is more than an occasional nuisance, let your dentist know!