It’s best to face life with confidence. So if you suffer from chronic bad breath (also known as halitosis), you have one more reason to floss your teeth daily. Flossing in particular can play a key role in preventing bad breath because flossing, when done correctly, helps to remove the small particles of food that get stuck between your teeth and around your gums—those tricky places where some toothbrushes can’t quite reach.
When food particles aren’t removed, they start to collect bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Of course some foods, such as garlic, cause bad breath that may persist until your body has processed that spicy meal.
Bad breath also can be caused by dry mouth (xerostomia). You can develop dry mouth as a side effect of certain medications, from stress or from breathing through your mouth, rather than through your nose, excessively.
Good oral hygiene is the best way to prevent bad breath, so be sure to brush and floss daily and schedule regular dental check-ups. If bad breath persists despite good oral care, ask your dentist and doctor—in some cases persistent bad breath may indicate a serious medical condition such as bronchitis, diabetes or liver problems.