5 Causes of Bad Breath and How to Treat Them

Bad breath, medically known as halitosis, is a persistent and socially embarrassing problem that affects millions of people worldwide.

While there are numerous causes of bad breath, many of them can be treated easily and quickly using simple techniques. Identifying the exact cause of your bad breath will make it easier to find the cure.

#1 – Poor oral hygiene

Research shows that 90% of mouth odors occur because of poor oral hygiene. If you fail to thoroughly brush and floss twice daily, small particles of food get stuck between your teeth and gums. As a result there is a build-up of odor-producing bacteria in the oral cavity which causes your breath to have a disagreeable odor. A proper oral hygiene routine will keep your mouth clean and pleasant smelling.

#2 – Dry Mouth

A good flow of saliva is crucial for maintaining a healthy mouth. Whenever your mouth is exceedingly dry, there isn’t a sufficient amount of saliva to wash away food particles or the bacteria that cause bad breath. The best way to prevent a dry mouth is to stay hydrated by drinking an adequate amount of water each day (at least eight glasses). You can also chew a sugar-free gum to stimulate the flow of saliva or if that isn’t enough, artificial saliva products are available.

#3 – Smoking

Smoking is also a cause of bad breath, but many people conveniently exclude it from consideration. Cigarettes contain chemicals that can stick to your teeth and gums. In addition, the smoke particles left in the lungs and throat after smoking can linger for several hours causing a stale smoke smell. Smoking also increases the risk of gum disease which is another cause of mouth odor. Using mints after smoking may give you a feeling of freshness but the only way to get rid of this type of bad breath is to stop smoking.

#4 – Stinky Foods

Bad breath is often exacerbated by the types of food you eat. Stinky food equals a stinky mouth. Some foods have a strong smell and produce unpleasant odors when processed by your digest system. The obvious culprits are onions, garlic, tobacco and alcohol. Some of them leave a film on your teeth that can cause an unpleasant breath odor that is not necessarily a halitosis smell. This kind of bad breath is superficial and goes away over time. Quick brushing after meals, gargling with water and chewing parsley and mint can help fix this problem.

#5 – Medical Conditions

The cause of bad breath is usually the presence of bacteria in the mouth. However, this is not always the case. Halitosis can sometimes be attributed to an underlying medical condition. Periodontal infection and gum diseases such as gingivitis can play a significant role in causing bad breath. Other medical conditions such as diabetes, tonsillitis and liver and kidney disorders can also be to blame. Preventive practices include flossing on a daily basis and massaging the gums after brushing. Timely treatment of these medical conditions is important to maintain a healthy mouth.

The cause of bad breath varies from person to person. For persistent halitosis, a visit to your dentist is imperative.

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