Some simple measures
can help put a muzzle on bad breath, according
to an article in the June issue of the Mayo
Clinic Health Letter.
Bad breath can be caused by food particles
in the mouth, dry mouth, or a health problem.
Mayo experts offer these tips to help prevent
Brush your teeth or use mouthwash after
you eat. Brushing is the more effective of
the two. If you use mouthwash, make sure you
swish it around in your mouth for 30 seconds
before you spit it out.
Floss your teeth at least once a day in
order to remove decaying food.
When brushing your teeth, brush the back
of your tongue, too, or scrape it with a tongue
scraper, available at pharmacies.
Drink water to keep your mouth moist. When
your mouth gets dry, there isn't enough saliva
to wash away dead cells. You can also chew
sugarless gum or suck on sugarless hard candy
to help stimulate saliva production.
Don't eat foods -- such as onions and garlic
-- that encourage bad breath. These foods
contain oils that are transferred to the lungs
If you have dentures, clean them daily to
get rid of food particles and bacteria.
If these simple measures don't improve your
bad breath, see your doctor or dentist. Persistent
bad breath may be a sign of periodontal disease,
an abscessed tooth, infection, chronic sinusitis,
postnasal drip, chronic bronchitis, certain
kinds of esophageal problems, and other health