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10 Tips to Banish Bad Breath continued...

4. Use a fluoride mouth rinse for sweeter breath. Not only do decayed teeth hurt, they have an awful odor. Tooth decay can be prevented with fluoride toothpaste and proper dental care. 

5. Drink lots of water to avert bad breath. "Lack of fluids can lead to dry mouth (xerostomia) and cause bad breath," says Murray Grossan, MD, a board certified otolaryngologist at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles and coauthor of The Sinus Cure. Dry mouth or reduced saliva can be the result of not drinking enough liquids, mouth breathing, or medications like antihistamines.

6. Reduce upset stomachs to ease bad breath. Over-the-counter antacids may ease a sour or acidic stomach, which can cause halitosis when you burp. If you are milk intolerant and have GI problems, try lactase tablets.

7. Check your sinuses; infections cause bad breath. Bad breath is often a clue to an underlying sinus infection. "The purulent post-nasal drip is the culprit," says William Sears, MD, also known as "America's Pediatrician," an associate clinical professor of Pediatrics at the University of California, Irvine, School of Medicine. Post-nasal drip is most noticeable after sleeping at night, which is why many people rush to brush their teeth first thing in the morning.

8. Eat yogurt for sweeter breath. Yogurt replenishes the good bacteria in the gut and "promotes a healthier mouth," McIlwain says. Sears recommends celery "to remove stinky bacteria." You may also try eating parsley between meals to fresh breath. Parsley reportedly has antibacterial and antifungal properties.

9. Chew gum with xylitol to banish bad breath. Chewing gum makes you salivate if your mouth is dry and causing bad breath. Saliva is what washes away the bacteria in your mouth. 

10. See your dentist. At least every six months, see your dentist for teeth cleaning and an oral exam. Your dentist can check your mouth and teeth for open cavities and gum disease that cause bad breath.

If self-care tips don’t work to stop your bad breath, see your doctor. Occasionally bad breath is a sign of a more serious problem, such as an infection, chronic bronchitis, diabetes, or kidney or liver disease.

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