No one wants to admit they have bad breath. Worse yet, no one wants to tell you that you have bad breath. Celeb cosmetic dentist Dr. Kevin Sands, who works with Hollywood’s elite including Miley Cyrus, the Kardashians, Emma Stone, Robert Downey Jr., Kanye West, Charlie Sheen, and more, has the inside scoop on what to avoid, how to fix and how to freshen to keep your breath smelling great.
CAUSES OF BAD BREATH
Not brushing/flossing enough: Plaque is a bacteria that forms on your teeth and if not brushed away, can irritate your gums causing gingivitis. This can lead to plaque-filled pockets between teeth and gums, known as periodontitis.
Dry mouth: Some medications can cause dry mouth, leading to bad breath. Lack of saliva in general can cause bad breath. Saliva helps cleanse your mouth, removing particles that may cause bad odors. Morning breath is the perfect example as the mouth is more dry during sleep.
Sinus infection: Post-nasal drip associated with inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat can cause bad breath. There are small stones that form in the tonsils and are covered in bacteria which produce an unpleasant odor.
Food: Certain foods like the obvious, onions, and not so obvious proteins like beef and fish can cause bad breath. After you digest these foods, they enter your bloodstream, are carried to your lungs and affect your breath. Meat and fish are proteins, and when they decompose they can give off smelly gases.
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- Eat breakfast! Chewing stimulates saliva production and food helps scrub bacteria from the tongue.
- Chew gum to stimulate saliva production.
- Add a humidifier while you sleep, to prevent dry mouth and increase saliva production.
- Drink plenty of water or liquids.
- Nasal spray keeps passages moist and help those who snore or suffer from post-nasal drip.
Eat the right foods
- Carbs are not the enemy. High protein, low-carb diets can lead to ketosis. As fat burns, ketones build up and are released through breath. Ketones don’t smell good. Opt for healthy carbs like fruits, veggies and whole grains.
- Vitamin C-rich foods prevent gum disease and gingivitis, both causes of bad breath. Foods like berries, citrus fruits and melon are good options.
- Vitamin D in foods like yogurt, milk and cheese create an unfriendly environment for bacteria growth and can help reduce bad breath.
Keep your mouth clean
Gum, breath mints, mouthwash… are all helpful in freshening momentarily, but they won’t cure bad breath. Brush, floss and scrape the tongue, which is a major area for bacteria.