There’s never a good time for bad breath. Whether you are wanting to bring in family members for some hugs, make an impression in the office, or just want to feel more confident, bad breath can get in the way. But since bad breath comes from odor-producing bacteria that grows in your mouth, you can usually avoid bad breath altogether when you take the right steps to keep your mouth clean. So if the bad smell in your mouth isn’t going away, it’s time to get some help. You, too, deserve to have fresh, kissable, and confident breath.

Bad Breath and Other Warning Signs of Gingivitis

Let’s start by understanding the primary causes of bad breath. And since no one wants stinky breath, understanding what causes it can be half of the battle. The biggest contributors to bad breath (halitosis) are:

  • Food: In particular, cheese, pastrami, soda, orange juice, certain spices, and alcohol can leave you with not-so-fresh breath. This is because the food we eat begins to break down in our mouths. These foods are then absorbed into our bloodstream, making their way to the lungs. This affects the air that you exhale. So, if you eat garlic, onions, or other pungent foods, your breath is going to smell less than ideal. And brushing or flossing, though necessary, only covers up the odor for a short period.
  • Cigarettes and other tobacco products: Smoking causes an unpleasant mouth odor. So if you smoke, chew tobacco, or vape, you are more likely to have breath that does not smell good. Not only that, but you are also far more likely to develop gum disease.
  • Medications: Though prescription medications and some over-the-counter medicines may be necessary for us to maintain good health, some of these items can contribute to halitosis.
  • Poor dental hygiene: Though brushing and flossing won’t necessarily cover up bad breath altogether, it will definitely help to keep bad breath from worsening. Further, practicing a good oral care routine at home is the best thing you can do to prevent tooth decay and tooth loss.
  • Dry mouth or other mouth, nose, and throat issues: Saliva helps to cleanse your mouth, so if you lack saliva production, you are more likely to develop bad breath. Additionally, it sometimes comes from small stones in the tonsils, which are covered with bacteria and produce an odor. And infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses, or throat contribute to postnasal drip, contributing to bad breath.

Signs you may have gingivitis.

Patients who suffer from gingivitis often have bad breath, as the causes usually go hand in hand. The bad news is that not everyone realizes that they have bad breath. So, sometimes learning the common signs of gum disease can help you receive treatment to improve the condition of your mouth and help you identify if you have stinky breath. Check out this list of 6 signs of gingivitis. And if you are experiencing one or more of these symptoms, it is time to request an appointment with your favorite dentists in Chicago, Illinois. Some symptoms may include your:

  1. gums looking swollen, red, or irritated.
  2. gums bleeding after brushing or flossing.
  3. bad breath being persistent and just not going away.
  4. gums feeling tender or painful when eating.
  5. teeth feeling wiggly or your gums are receding.
  6. teeth feeling like they’re misaligned or your dentures no longer fit.

Bad breath and gum disease don’t go away on their own.

Ignoring bad breath or any of the previously mentioned gum disease signs won’t help resolve the issue. Thankfully, you can do things about bad breath that will also help you lessen your chances of gum disease. And if you have gum disease, practicing these recommendations may help your gum disease go away:

  1. Brush your teeth twice a day, especially after meals. Floss once per day and rinse with a fluoridated mouthwash before you go to bed.
  2. Use a tongue scraper to remove bad bacteria from your tongue.
  3. Stay away from foods that can lead to halitosis (refer to our list of foods above).
  4. Quit smoking and using tobacco products.
  5. Chew sugar-free gum after dinner instead of sucking on a mint. Chewing gum can help loosen food particles sitting in your mouth.
  6. Drink more water. Water not only keeps your body hydrated but also helps to rinse away those food particles that are still in your mouth.
  7. Keep your annual physical with your medical provider and see your family dentist every six months.

5 Home Remedies for Bad Breath and Gum Disease

In addition to the above suggestions, there are a few home remedies that you can try to rid yourself of bad breath. And in doing so, you may also lessen your risks for gum disease, because the primary way to prevent bad breath is to practice good oral hygiene. Try the following home remedies for smelly breath.

  1. Chew on parsley leaves after each meal or buy a parsley dietary supplement. Parsley’s fresh scent and high chlorophyll content have a deodorizing effect.
  2. Drink 8 ounces of organic pineapple juice after every meal. As an alternative, you can chew on a pineapple slice for one to two minutes. After, be sure to rinse your mouth of the sugars in fruit and fruit juice by drinking a glass of water or rinsing with mouthwash.
  3. Drink at least eight glasses of water each day. Dry mouth often causes bad breath and saliva helps keep your mouth clean. Without saliva, bacteria will thrive.
  4. ​​Eat at least one serving of plain, non-fat yogurt per day. Yogurt contains lactobacillus, a healthy bacteria that can combat bad bacteria in various parts of your body.
  5. Rinse your mouth with a baking soda mouthwash. All you need to do is mix one cup of warm water with two teaspoons of baking soda. Swish the mouthwash solution around in your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out. Be sure not to swallow any of the solution.

Can’t get rid of your bad breath and you’re worried about gum disease? Book an appointment with Barr & Diachenko in Chicago, IL.

If you’ve tried all the home remedies and you believe you are practicing good oral hygiene at home, but your breath isn’t getting any better, you may need professional dental treatment. If you live or work in the Chicago area, request an appointment with Barr & Diachenko. We would be delighted to help you get to the root cause of your bad breath and set you on a path to a happier and healthier mouth that is free of gum disease.

We look forward to seeing you.