Bad breath? Brush your tongue!

Giving your tongue a gentle brushing removes dead cells, bacteria and food debris. Use a soft-bristled toothbrush or a flexible tongue scraper. Another option is to use a toothbrush with a built-in tongue cleaner on the back. Try to clean as far back on your tongue as you can without gagging because the bacteria tend to collect toward the back.

© 1998-2017 Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research (MFMER). All rights reserved.

2/3/2014

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.

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BAD BREATH

Definition

Foul-smelling breath, usually caused by the breakdown of food. Other culprits include poor dental hygiene, dry mouth, disease, infection, tobacco use and severe dieting.

Causes

Most bad breath starts in your mouth, and there are many possible causes that include:

  • Food particles from stinky foods like garlic and onions
  • Smoking
  • Respiratory Infections
  • Acid Reflux
  • Poor Oral Hygiene

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