September 26, 2022

Whether it’s coffee breath from your morning commute, forgetting to floss or a dry mouth, a bout of halitosis — or bad breath — can ruin your (and others’) day. Learn what else might be causing it and what you can do about it. Hint: it’s not just your food.
“Digestion and the breakdown of food begin in your mouth. That means particles are left behind until you’ve digested them,” says Natalie Stinton, DMD, pediatric dentist at Geisinger. Most often, bad breath happens when you eat foods with a strong odor.
Some foods that commonly lead to bad breath include:
Bad breath can sneak up on you when you least expect it. So if you eat something overpowering now, your breath might not be affected until later. 
“Bad breath can be caused by more than just a pungent meal or poor oral hygiene habits,” says Dr. Stinton. Here are a few common causes:
“If your halitosis isn’t going away, even with good oral hygiene, talk to your healthcare provider,” Dr. Stinton advises. “They can identify and treat the underlying cause.”
Ready to begin your journey to better breath? Don’t forget to brush your teeth twice a day.
Dr. Stinton notes: “A common quip we say in dentistry is ‘Brush at night to keep your teeth — brush in the morning to keep your friends.’ That means, to prevent cavities, the most important time to brush is at bedtime. And to prevent halitosis, the most important time to brush is in the morning.”
If your gums are irritated or bleed when you brush, talk to your dentist. They can help identify potential causes. And they’ll work with you to find a solution. It may be as simple as replacing your toothbrush or starting a flossing regimen. Building a good oral hygiene routine can help your mouth feel fresh and clean all day long.
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Meet Natalie Stinton, DMD

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