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Everyone experiences bad breath from time to time. It is often the result of something you had to eat or drink, and if that is the cause, brushing your teeth, using a little mouthwash and maybe changing your menu preferences can help. Or it may be the result of poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush your teeth for two minutes at a time, floss once a day and see our dentist for your regular visits, food particles and plaque can build up over time and cause bad breath. Of course, oral hygiene problems can lead to tooth decay and gum disease which can contribute to halitosis. Your lifestyle choices can also affect your breath. Smoking, alcohol use and recreational drugs can all cause less than stellar bad breath.

If you are puzzled over the cause of your bad breath, you should make an appointment to see our dentist, Dr. Julia Gorelik. While many causes of halitosis are related to dental problems, there are other medical issues that can be behind bad breath. For example, if you start a diet to lose weight, bad breath can be a result. Sinus infections and respiratory problems can cause halitosis, as can a condition known as dry mouth which is where your body doesn’t produce enough saliva. And you might want to cut back on pungent foods like garlic, onions or smelly cheeses before an important social engagement.

While you are waiting for your visit with our team, there are definitely some things you can do to help your breath smell better, naturally:

– If you have a dry mouth, believe it or not, that can exacerbate bad breath issues. So hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. The most effective way to do that is by drinking plain, clean water. Swishing it in your mouth can also help by increasing saliva levels while rinsing away bacteria and food particles.
and has a reputation as a natural breath deodorizer because it helps fight germs.

– Believe it or not, citric acids found in an orange can increase saliva levels by stimulating the salivary glands, and who doesn’t love the smell of oranges? Chewing in general, stimulates the salivary glands, particularly fresh raw fruit and vegetables including like apples and celery. As the saliva production is activated it can help get rid of the material on the back of the tongue which contributes to bad breath. Which brings us to the next remedy:

– A tongue scraper is an effective way to loosen oral bacteria and residue on the tongue so you can clear it away with a good rinse. There are actually tongue scrapers designed specifically for the job, but if you don’t have one handy, you can grab a spoon from your kitchen and use that. You want to scrape it from the back to the front of the tongue a few times, and don’t skip the sides of your tongue. Just watch out for the gag reflex!

– While you’re in the kitchen, there are other helpers right in the spice cupboard you can use to help cleanse the breath. Cloves are loaded in eugenol, which is an antibacterial agent, and can be chewed and then spit out. Cinnamon sticks are antiseptic, so you can suck on a stick of it to freshen your breath. Also, if you have seeds like cardamom, anise, fennel or dill these can all be chewed to freshen your breath naturally.

– Another item in your pantry or fridge is apple cider vinegar. ACV works by neutralizing the bacteria in the mouth. Because it is also antiseptic, it can break down oral plaque. Simply add a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water and drink it before a meal to help digestion. Added to water you can even just gargle with it!

You should always clean your mouth and brush your teeth after eating to lessen oral plaque. Using a toothpaste with tea-tree oil naturally disinfect the teeth. Check out your local health food store for toothpaste with tea-tree oil in it.

If you are experiencing chronic bad breath in Charlotte, North Carolina, we can hope you find the cause as well as some solutions. If you would like to schedule an appointment at Gorelik Dentistry, please call 704-553-1627 and we will be happy to maintain your healthy, beautiful smile!