Bad breath, unsightly mouth sores, and tooth decay: We’ve got a solution for all of your dental-health dilemmas.

The best way to keep your mouth, teeth and gums looking and feeling great? A good daily brushing, flossing and mouth rinse routine, combined with a balanced diet and regular dental visits.

However, following these dental commandments isn’t always enough. Many oral health issues such as bad breath, tooth decay, mouth sores and receding gums can leave you feeling uncomfortable and reluctant to smile.

Check out these remedies for common mouth ailments.

Bad Breath

There are different treatments for bad breath, or halitosis, depending on the cause. Brushing and flossing is crucial as it helps food particles from collecting bacteria and rotting in your mouth. If your dentist gives you a clean bill of health, you will need to look at other causes.

Bad breath can be caused by a medical disorder. Certain medications can cause dry mouth which can contribute to bad breath. Sometimes the solution can be as simple as changing your diet, cutting back on foods like, garlic, onions etc. If you’re a smoker, cutting out tobacco can also help reduce bad breath.

Tooth Decay and Erosion

Brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste along with daily flossing and regular trips to the dentist will help fight tooth decay and erosion. A balanced diet and keeping snacking to a minimum can help prevent plaque build up and erosion. Also avoiding a high volume of acidic foods and drinks such as citrus fruits and juices, tomatoes, pickles can prevent erosion of the tooth’s enamel.

Receding Gums

Gum recession and periodontal disease can have serious repercussions. Early stage gingivitis causes the gums to become red and swollen, and to bleed easily, while the more advanced periodontitis damages the gums and bones that support the teeth, causing them to loosen and fall out.

Gum recession can also be caused by aggressive brushing with a hard bristled toothbrush. It is recommended to use an electric toothbrush, most have sensors which let you know if you are brushing too hard.

Mouth Sores

Ulcers and cold sores are two of the most common sores that show up around the mouth. They can be painful, annoying, and unsightly. Ulcers develop inside the mouth, while cold sores appear externally, usually on the edge of the lips. Fortunately, both of these types of sores tend to heal on their own within a week or so, and ulcers can be treated with over-the-counter topical anesthetics or antimicrobial mouth rinses to reduce discomfort. Topical anesthetics may also provide temporary relief for cold sores. If you’re embarrassed by frequent cold-sore outbreaks, talk to your doctor about getting a prescription for antiviral drugs that could help reduce infections from the herpes virus.