If you've noticed your breath tends to get worse during anxiety-inducing situations, you may be wondering, "Can stress cause bad breath?" It very well could be the reason for the unpleasant odors you're experiencing. Luckily, there are actions you can take to prevent bad breath the next time you're under pressure from a first date, a job interview, an important meeting, giving a speech at the Oscars, or your next rocket launch (while wearing a space helmet, good breath is imperative). So sit back, relax, and calm those nerves, because we have a few tips and tricks that may be able to help you.
How to Get Rid of Stress-Induced Bad Breath
Dry mouth is a normal occurrence during stressful situations. If you don't have enough saliva to wash away food particles and bacteria, it can collect on your teeth and gums. And, you guessed it, food particles and flourishing bacteria can cause less-than-perfect breath.
How Can You Reduce Stress?
Reducing stress is best achieved in different ways for different people. And the solutions to the innumerable stressors that exist in the world are always circumstantial. But whether you find peace and calm by practicing mindfulness, using essential oils, talking to a friend, seeing a therapist, listening to music – we hope you'll be able to find the stress-relief that works best for you.
A straightforward way to become calmer in a stressful situation that can affect your saliva is to take slow, deep breaths through your nose. Keeping a gentle, even rhythm should help relax you. And by avoiding breathing through your mouth as much as possible, you'll be able to maintain moisture on your teeth and gums.
Alcohol, coffee, and tea are diuretics and can cause dehydration (which is a stressor on its own). You may want to avoid these drinks before any upcoming stressful events. A simple glass of water will better moisturize your mouth, calm your nerves, and keep your breath fresh. Just remember to drink it before you feel thirsty.
Want to Know How to Get Rid of Bad Breath When Stressed?
Water is always a great way to stave off dryness of your tongue, teeth, and gums. It not only moistens your mouth on the way in, but it hydrates your body, which can help with natural saliva production. Ask for a lemon with your water if you're at a lunch meeting or a dinner date. That citrus juice will help stimulate your salivary glands as well.
Lozenges and sugarless gum are helpful, too. Xylitol sugarless lozenges can even assist in the prevention of cavities. Just be sure to consider your setting. If your stressor is a meeting or a job interview – chewing on gum or sucking on something that looks like candy may not be appropriate.
The best way to avoid bad breath is by practicing good oral hygiene. Brush your teeth at least twice a day (don't forget to brush your tongue), floss at least once a day, and consider using other helpful products like antimicrobial mouthwashes and tongue scrapers. And be sure to see your dental professional for regular oral health visits.
When you make these habits part of your daily routine, bad breath may become a stressor you no longer need to worry about. Do your best to live in the moment. Try to appreciate any difficulties as part of the beautiful journey that is life. And take care of yourself (and your mouth). You may end up realizing the things that used to stress you out can actually be a bit of fun.
This article is intended to promote understanding of and knowledge about general oral health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your dentist or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment.