Bad breath could be sign of serious problem

February 1, 2013 6:08:42 AM PST
You might have bad breath and don't even know it. It's estimated that about 65-percent of Americans do.

Chronic bad breath can be a warning sign of a more serious health problem such as liver or kidney disease.

There are everyday causes that aren't serious and what you eat could be a breath of fresh air.

It all starts with good hygiene of course.

Brushing your teeth and flossing properly can prevent bacteria from growing in your mouth.

What if you're doing that and your breath is still offensive?

It could be caused by a number of things.

Smoking, drinking, dieting, post nasal drip and even dehydration or maybe it's that yummy meal you just had with all the garlic.

Mouth wash and gum can mask the problem but it won't get rid of the causes.

Eating the right foods can help.

"Spinach is probably the healthiest green vegetable out there," nutritionist David Grotto said. "There's some compounds in spinach that have been found to decrease the bacteria that causes plaque, gingivitis and bad bread."

Grotto wrote a book "The Best Things You Can Eat". Yogurt, cherries and apples can all keep your breath smelling fresh.

If you're worried about chronic bad breath , maybe it's time to see a doctor.

Grotto said don't rely on the hand breath test to determine if you have bad breath because it doesn't work. Just ask a close friend and reach for the mints for the short term.