Tips to keep bad breath at bay this holiday season

HOUSTON – Bad breath comes from bacteria. Chronic bad breath can indicate gum disease. Inadequate brushing or flossing might also be to blame.

However, if an occasional foul smell is mostly just a social problem for you, periodontist Robin Weltman said it's best to avoid smoking, foods with garlic or alcohol - like wine

“Dry mouth doesn't allow the saliva to wash away and filter, should we say, the bacteria out of the mouth,” Weltman, from UT Health School of Dentistry, said.

If your goal is to cozy up under the mistletoe, Weltman suggests you combat dry mouth that causes bad breath.

“One thing to do, drink plenty of water. Potentially have sugar-free lozenge to help stimulate saliva flow. Or have a lemon in your drink and that in and of itself will increase saliva flow which will aid in reducing those bad tastes in your mouth that could expel to a colleague across from you,” she said.

Another tip is to eat hydrating foods. In addition to lemons, that can include other fruits and vegetables like carrots and celery.