Your Bod

I think my breath stinks


I always seem to have bad breath no matter what I do. I use mouthwash, I brush often and I chew minty gum, but it never goes away. Help!

Ugh, that stinks—but take comfort that half of us deal with this issue. Hundreds of species of bacteria live in our mouths, feeding on food particles and saliva. They’re actually doing this to keep our mouths clean. Thing is, as bacteria gobble up our leftovers, they create waste that smells yucky. So the best way to fresher breath is to kill the bacteria.

Always brush your teeth after you eat, and be sure to scrub your tongue (bacteria love it there) as far back as you can without gagging, explains Dr. Debra Gray King, dentist and president of the Atlanta Center for Cosmetic Dentistry. Rinse with antiseptic mouthwash, like Listerine, and floss daily. Chewing sugar-free gum helps, too. Still smelly? Other common causes of bad breath are hunger, dry mouth and strong foods like garlic and onions. Avoid these things, and if you still have problems, see your dentist to make sure you have healthy gums.


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by GL | 2/1/2016
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