Fixing bad breath depends on what's causing it. In 80 to 90 percent of cases, it's due to something in the mouth. Most often, it's nothing more serious than a dirty mouth. Plaque, the nearly invisible film of bacteria that's constantly forming in your mouth, is often responsible for bad breath. Other dental culprits include cavities and gum disease.
Occasionally, bad breath is due to something in the lungs or gastrointestinal tract or to a systemic (bodywide) infection. However, eating a garlicky meal is one of the most common causes. The strong odors of foods such as garlic, onions and alcohol are carried through the bloodstream and exhaled by the lungs. Another big loser when it comes to bad breath is tobacco.
In addition, some health problems, such as sinus infections or diabetes (which may give the breath a chemical smell), can cause bad breath.
Read below what you can do to keep your breath as fresh as possible.
1: Keep Your Mouth Clean
Keep your mouth clean. That means a thorough brushing twice a day and flossing regularly. Food and bacteria trapped between teeth and at the gum line can only be removed with floss. If they're left to linger, bad breath is imminent.
2: Clean Your Tongue
Clean your tongue, too. Bacteria left on your tongue can contribute to less-than-fresh breath. Be sure to brush your tongue after you brush your teeth.
3: Wet Your Whistle
A dry mouth can quickly cause bad breath. Saliva helps clean your mouth; it has a natural antibacterial action, and it washes away food particles. That awful morning breath is the result of reduced saliva flow at night.
If nothing else, at least rinse your mouth with plain water after eating. Swishing the water around may help to remove some of the food particles left in the mouth after a meal and prevent bad breath from setting in.
5: Munch on Parsley
Munching on parsley or spearmint won't cure bad breath, but the scent of the herb itself can help to cover up offending oral odor temporarily.
6: Eat to Smell Sweet
Foods that help fight plaque may also help fight bad breath. Opt for celery, carrots, peanuts or a bit of low-fat cheese if you want something to snack on.