If you are one of those unfortunate people who have to visit a dentist during the winter for your bad breath, do not think you are alone facing such a problem. It has been reported that over 80 million people experience chronic halitosis, commonly known as bad breath. Often the cause of the issue is gums and tongue that is in constant contact with saliva. Saliva is natural moisture that moistens the mouth and helps in fighting microorganisms. During the winter season, the cold air takes away the moisture leaving the mouth dry and microbes multiplying. The consequence of this is the release of odor compounds that results in bad breath. Another cause of bad breath is sinus infection during the winter that releases mucus down the throat, which emits a foul smell.
However, there are 9 ways in which you can mitigate bad breath during winter as well as throughout the year.
1. Brush and Floss: To remove any plaque or food debris from your teeth and gum at least twice daily. Also, it is vital you brush your teeth before going to sleep and as an additional precaution use baking soda to brush your teeth. Baking soda reduces acidity that makes difficult for bacteria to grow. Brushing does not always remove the food particles lodged between the teeth so to get rid of them floss them. These food particles cause bad breath as bacteria feed on them.
2. Scrape the Tongue: Often residual food particles on the tongue cause the foul smell in your mouth. Invest in the tool called tongue scraper, it is inexpensive but very effective. In case you do not have one brush your tongue with your toothbrush.
3. Drink Water: Avoid dry mouth and remove toxins from your body that often causes bad breath and other odor problem by drinking at least 6 to 8-ounce glasses of water daily.
4. Take Green Tea: University of Illinois, Chicago conducted a study that showed green tea has components that help in fighting and suppressing the microorganisms in the mouth. So drink green tea and also you can add a cinnamon stick that will fight the odor.
5. Munch: In between meals snack on fresh, crispy vegetables and fruits like apple and celery sticks. This will stimulate your saliva flow and help in removing the bacteria from the tongue, gums, and teeth, which causes foul breath. Also, it will take care of your empty stomach that releases acids that also causes bad breath.
6. Do Not Smoke: Tobacco dries your mouth and leaves an unpleasant smell even after brushing your teeth. So quit smoking or chewing on tobacco.
7. Care For Your Dental Devices: All your dental appliances should be cleaned and kept clean since they tend to accumulate food particles. This often becomes a breeding ground for bacteria, which can affect your mouth eventually. So when you clean your mouth clean your appliances too.
8. Rinse Your Mouth: This will mask the odor and not cure it if you have a chronic dental problem that causes bad breath. At times it might worsen the problem, however, for emergency purpose try a quick rinse of your mouth with either over the counter mouth rinses or you can make one yourself by mixing water with few drops of peppermint oil.
9. Sugarless Candy: This is never a permanent solution but for emergency purposes this is good. Chewing on sugarless candy or gum will increase your saliva flow that will watch the bacteria and food debris causing the bad breath.
When all these remedies fail to resolve your bad breath issue visit your dentist. A dentist is the best person to identify the cause of your bad breath and help you in mitigating the problem. Do not be embarrassed to talk about it because it can often be a symptom for some other issue.