By Corrie Pikul
Photo: ThinkstockYour Stuffy Nose
Pass the tissues--and some gum, please. When a cold prevents you from breathing through your nose, you're forced to inhale and exhale through your mouth. This dries out the tissues and reduces the flow of saliva-the mouth's built-in cleanser, which not only rinses away food particles but also neutralizes decay-causing acids and acts as a natural antiseptic to keep bacteria in check. The less saliva, the more bacteria-and the more potent the odor. An easy remedy (for your breath, if not your cold): Chewing gum--as long as it's sugarless--has been shown to increase the flow of saliva.
Your Movie Treats
Bacteria have a sweet tooth, too. When you eat sticky candy like gummy bears, cherry vines and even mint chews, the bacteria "has a party," says Kimberly Harms, DDS, the consumer adviser for the American Dental Association. It feasts on the sugar and spreads to all areas of your mouth--including hard-to-reach areas in the grooves of the teeth.Read More »from Surprising Things that Cause Bad Breath (and One Cure)