ROCHESTER, Minn. — Food particles in the mouth may be the source of bad breath. The July issue of Mayo Clinic Health Letter offers tips to eliminate the food particles and resulting bad breath (halitosis).
Clean teeth after eating: Brushing is best. When brushing isn’t possible, chewing sugarless gum or swishing mouthwash for 30 seconds can help rid the mouth of food particles.
- Floss at least once a day: Flossing removes decaying food from between the teeth.
- Clean the back of the tongue: Mucus from postnasal drip can decay on the back of the tongue. It can be removed by using a tongue scraper or brushing the tongue.
- Drink water or chew gum: When the mouth is dry, there’s insufficient saliva to wash away food debris.
- Clean dentures daily: They harbor food particles and bacteria.
- Limit foods or beverages that cause bad breath: Offenders include onions, garlic, coffee and alcohol.
Seeing a physician is wise when simple measures don’t improve bad breath. Halitosis may be related to a health condition such as gum disease, a sinus problem, chronic bronchitis or some throat problems.
Mayo Clinic Health Letter is an eight-page monthly newsletter of reliable, accurate and practical information on today’s health and medical news. To subscribe, please call 800-333-9037 (toll-free), extension 9771, or visit Mayo Clinic Health Letter Online.
About Mayo Clinic
Mayo Clinic is the first and largest integrated, not-for-profit group practice in the world. Doctors from every medical specialty work together to care for patients, joined by common systems and a philosophy of “the needs of the patient come first.” More than 3,700 physicians, scientists and researchers, and 50,100 allied health staff work at Mayo Clinic, which has campuses in Rochester, Minn; Jacksonville, Fla; and Scottsdale/Phoenix, Ariz.; and community-based providers in more than 70 locations in southern Minnesota., western Wisconsin and northeast Iowa. These locations treat more than half a million people each year. To obtain the latest news releases from Mayo Clinic, go to www.mayoclinic.org/news. For information about research and education, visit www.mayo.edu. MayoClinic.com (www.mayoclinic.com) is available as a resource for your health stories.