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The problem of halitosis (bad breath) is widespread around the world and is due to the build-up of bacteria in the mouth. This bacteria is normal and is the result of eating fish, meat and dairy products, but when the smell lingers, it can be a sign that you need to make daily changes to avoid bad breath. An important first step in treating halitosis is to make sure that you drink water regularly as bacteria thrive in a dry mouth. Below are a number of steps you can take to reduce the level of bad breath.

Clean your tongue

By taking steps to keep your tongue clean, the build-up of bacteria and amino acids will be reduced. This process can be undertaken using a regular toothbrush and toothpaste. Tongue scrapers are widely available to aid this process, though care should be taken not to use too much pressure which could cause damage or soreness to the tongue. This process can be introduced as part of daily oral hygiene alongside brushing and flossing twice-per-day.

Foods to Avoid

When considering foods to avoid, attempts to reduce bad breath usually include obvious items such as onions and garlic. However, foods that are acidic in nature, such as vinegar, and those with a high-fructose content, such as sugary foods, should also be avoided as both of these produce ideal conditions for the bacteria that produce bad breath. In a related problem, smoking is a major cause of bad breath and other oral problems. Quitting smoking can assist in removing the problem of bad breath and can simultaneously promote other health benefits.

Foods Which Fight Against Bad Breath

Foods that are useful in the battle agains bad breath include:

  • Fresh fruit and vegetables: These are rich in fibre and so act as a natural toothbrush. They also aid in the production of saliva to keep the mouth hydrated.
  • Probiotic yogurt: Use this sugar-free yogurt to provide ‘good’ bacteria to combat the bad breath producing ‘bad’ bacteria.
  • Cherries: This fruit eliminates methyl mercaptan, a gas which can cause bad breath and is found in onions and some dairy products.
  • Green Tea: Catechins are natural antioxidants that are found in green tea. Their effect is similar to that of parsley and basil.
  • Melons: Foods that are high in vitamin C will help to avoid the bad breath associated with gingivitis and other related oral health issues.

Visit Your Dentist

Regular visits to the dentist are crucial to keeping your mouth healthy and in avoiding problems of bad breath. Not all bad breath problems are food-related, as there may be an issue with tooth decay or gum disease. These problems will only be fixed with a trusted dentist, such as the professionals at Putney Dental. The dentist will also be able to provide deep-cleaning and plaque removal that may be beyond the reach of your daily brushing routine.

Sugar-Free Gum

Many people find that chewing sugar-free gum after meals can aid the removal of debris within the mouth and consequently reduce the potential for bad bacteria build-up. It is important to state that only ‘sugar-free’ gum should be used as traditional chewing gum with sugar can aid bacteria production or can lead to tooth decay and cavities forming in the teeth.


The regular use of a mouthwash product is not a remedy for bad breath in itself. However, as part of the daily oral hygiene process, it will provide further assistance in the battle against bacteria and bad breath. Mouthwash is a useful tool in reducing the likelihood of inflammation within the gums (gingivitis) which occurs when plaque and bacteria accumulate on the teeth.

Overall, good dental hygiene will lead to a reduction in bad breath issues. The process requires daily action in order to achieve the desired effect. Regular visits to a dentist will ensure that bad breath can be prevented, and monitoring the foods you intake can also assist in avoiding bad breath.