Is This Causing Your Breath To Stink?
Wearing face masks have become common over the last few months as we've worked to slow the spread of COVID-19.
And while they've been doing a good job helping protect us – and those around us – from the virus, wearing masks have led some folks to a rather startling discovery.
Their breath stinks.
There are multiple causes of stinky breath.
Of course, what you last ate or drank could be to blame.
Eggs, onions, garlic, and coffee are some of the worst offenders.
You see these foods – and many others – release sulfides when consumed.
And get this – these sulfides can hang around in your bloodstream up to 72 hours.
So even if you pop a stick of gum in your mouth after a particularly garlicky meal, your breath may still expel those sulfides 3 days later.
You can fight sulfides by drinking water and eating foods that stimulate the production of saliva.
Crunchy foods like celery, apples and carrots are great options because they help sweep away the smelly offenders.
A diet high in sugar can also result in rank breath.
Bacteria love sugar. They thrive in it.
And all that bacteria can leave your breath smelling foul.
Cut back on the sweets, particularly gummy candy and caramels, that have a tendency to stick to the teeth where they can attract bacteria.
Some medications cause bad breath because they dry out the mouth.
Drugs with anticholinergic are particularly well-known to cause dry mouth because they block acetylcholine, a key molecule that helps "turn on" your salivary glands.
If you take meds with anticholinergic, talk to your doctor about alternatives.
Folks with allergies and sinus issues are more likely to have foul breath because stuffy noses often result in mouth breathing that can dry the mouth and reduce saliva.
Also, all the gunk in postnasal drip can get stuck in the back of your tongue, in places too far for a toothbrush to reach.
Specially designed tongue scrapers and rinsing with a mouthwash can help clear the gunk away.
Poor dental hygiene is a major contributor to bad breath.
When you don't brush and floss regularly, food can get trapped between teeth and in your gums where bacteria move in to break it down, leaving stank gases behind.
Want to get an "inside" peek on how you're doing with your dental care?
Floss your teeth and then smell the thread.
If it stinks, so does your breath, so you may need to spend some extra time with your toothbrush and floss.
No matter what the cause, bad breath can be downright embarrassing.
We won't be wearing masks forever.
It's just a matter of time before that foul breath is unleashed on unsuspecting family and friends.
Do all you can to reduce your risk of developing bad breath by practicing good dental hygiene, addressing sinus and allergies issues, and taking a good look at your meds.
And, lay off the gummy bears.
Stay safe out there.