Breathing in the Truth About Bad Breath

Do you find your friends subtly scooting away from you when you’re talking in close quarters? Does your desk neighbor at work offer you Tic Tacs and gum way more frequently than she should? Are you constantly breathing into your hand to see what others may be smelling?

If the answer to any of these questions is “Yes,” then you may be one of the millions of people out there who suffer from bad breath.

What Causes Bad Breath?


Bad breath, or “Halitosis,” plague about a third of the world’s population. And, while it may not be the direst of medical circumstances, having a mouth that smells unbearable isn’t exactly a great social life booster either. Which is why it is important to learn how to combat it. To begin with, that means understanding where bad breath comes from.

The most common origin of Halitosis is bad dental hygiene. When you don’t take care of your oral/dental health, hundreds of bacteria on the tongue, gums, and teeth create sulfurous smells that cling to your mouth’s insides. Unclean dental cavities, un-brushed teeth, gum disease, or coated tongues (when there is a white or yellow residue on your tongue), are some examples of oral/dental health issues that cause bad breath.

Other medical conditions that may cause bad breath include malnutrition, diabetes, dry mouth, infections, sore throats, heartburn, intestinal disorders, the common cold, ulcers, sinusitis, and lactose intolerance. Furthermore, bad breath can also be attributed to certain foods and drinks such as garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol. Smoking is also a common source of bad breath problems.

Now that you are loaded up with knowledge on where bad breath comes from, it’s time to arm yourself with ways to fight back. There are plenty of long-term and quick-fix ways to reduce bad breath. For a full list of both, look below.

Top 10 Tips for Fighting Bad Breath:

  1. Drink plenty of water.

  2. Brush after every meal and floss (once or twice a day).

  3. Replace your toothbrush every two to three months.

  4. Arrange regular dental check-ups with us at our El Paso dentist office.

  5. Scrape your tongue each morning with a spoon or tongue scraper to minimize bacteria.

  6. Chew a handful of fennel seeds, cloves, or aniseeds (they have antiseptic qualities that fight bacteria).

  7. Chew a pre-washed lemon or orange rind (the citric acid will trigger the salivary glands to fight against bad breath).

  8. Chew on fresh basil, mint, cilantro, or sprigs of parsley (their natural levels of chlorophyll neutralize odors).

  9. Use a 30-second alcohol-free, fluoride mouthwash.

  10. If you wear dentures or retainers, clean them regularly.

If you’ve been afraid to share a taxi cab with a pal or have a conversation with your boss right after your morning coffee, now’s the time to act! Begin your journey towards better breath today by employing the tips above and better dental hygiene practices in general.

For more on proper oral and dental health, or for specific recommendations from your local, El Paso dentists, contact us at Picasso Smiles Dental now!

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