Does your breath stink even if you haven’t chewed down an onion or garlic-rich meal? Are you constantly feeling self-conscious because of the odor? You are not alone. ABC News nutrition and wellness editor David Zinczenko describes bad breath as follows:

Beat Bad Breath

Oral malodor. Sounds like some hellish realm in a Tolkien novel, and that’s not too far from the truth. It’s what doctors call bad breath, and it affects everyone at one time or another (anyone who says they don’t get morning breath is lying). And for one in four people, it’s a chronic health (and social) issue.

The American Dental Association says that bad breath, also known as halitosis, is caused bacteria in the mouth, on the gum line and on the tongue. Bad breath is worsened by a number of things: Food particles in your mouth (onions and garlic are prime offenders); gum disease or plaque buildup, dry mouth due to mouth breathing or dehydration, which decreases the amount of saliva in your mouth, slowing down your mouth’s natural cleaning system; and medical conditions like diabetes, sinus or lung infections, bronchitis, and gastroesophageal reflux disease or GERD.

Citing research from various journals and researchers, Zinczenko then offers simple ways to help minimize or eliminate bad breath. Among other things, you need to take care of your oral hygiene through at-home practices  including: brushing, flossing, and cleaning your tongue as you brush your teeth. Eating yogurt, chewing xylitol gum, eating herbs like parsley or mint, and drinking green tea can help deodorize your mouth, too.

When all else fails, turn to your dentist.

When home remedies for bad breath fail, it’s time to get an oral health checkup. Your dentist in Greenville, SC can check and treat any dental issue that may be causing the problem. As mentioned in the ABC News article, halitosis can signal diseased gums or plaque on your teeth. Cavities and improperly cleaned or fitted dental appliances like dentures and braces can cause odors too.

Trusted dentists in Greenville, SC, such as Dr. Brian Derrick of Falls Park Dentistry, can perform routine or restorative treatments to address your oral health issues. Such a professional can assess your condition through a comprehensive checkup, recommend the necessary solutions, and prevent your problem from persisting or worsening. With regular dental visits, you can beat bad breath and maintain your oral health at the same time.

(Source: Top 4 Ways to Beat Bad Breath, ABC News, April 30, 2014)