Causes of bad breath
The causes of bad breath can vary, but there are some common factors that can contribute to the problem. There are many reasons why someone might have bad breath, also called halitosis. Most often, bad breath is caused by poor oral hygiene. This means that the person isn’t brushing and flossing their teeth regularly, or they may have food or plaque stuck in their teeth. Other causes of bad breath can include smoking, dry mouth, gum disease, sinus infections, and certain foods. While bad breath is usually nothing to worry about, it can be a sign of a more serious condition if it doesn’t go away after good oral hygiene. If you’re concerned about your bad breath, talk to your dentist or doctor. There are many possible causes of bad breath, most of which originate in the mouth. These include:
- Food: Food can cause bad breath if it breaks down around your teeth and increases bacteria. Certain foods, like onions, garlic, and spices, can also cause bad breath. These foods enter your bloodstream after you eat them and are carried to your lungs, where they can affect your breath.
- Tobacco products: Tobacco users have a tendency to have bad breath due to periodontal disease, which can be caused by smoking. In component is the cause of the foul odor of tobacco users.
- Poor dental hygiene: Daily brushing and flossing eliminate food particles from your mouth, preventing bad breath and plaque buildup, and tartar deposits from forming between your teeth and gums. If plaque isn’t brushed away, it leads to periodontal disease, which makes your gums sore and tender and can ultimately cause tooth loss. Your tongue can also trap bacteria that produce unpleasant odors. If you don’t clean your dentures regularly, or if they don’t fit properly, they can harbor bacteria that cause bad breath. Food particles can also get trapped in your dentures, causing them to smell.
- Dry mouth: Saliva helps remove particles that cause bad breath. A condition called dry mouth or xerostomia can lead to bad breath because the production of saliva is inhibited. Dry mouth is a common occurrence during sleep and can lead to morning breath. Sleeping with your mouth open can worsen dry mouth. Your salivary glands might be compromised and/or you may suffer from a disease that can cause chronic dry mouth.
- Medications: Mouthwash and other medications can promote dry mouth, which, in turn, can lead to breath that is foul. Some medications can also be broken down on the premises in order to release potent compounds that are then transferred to your breath.
- Infections in your mouth: There are several factors that can contribute to bad breath, including surgical wounds, tooth decay, gum disease, and mouth sores. If you’re experiencing bad breath, it’s best to consult with a dentist or medical professional to determine the underlying cause.
- Other mouth, nose and throat conditions: Bad breath can occasionally be caused by small stones that form in the tonsils and are covered with bacteria that produce odor. Infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat, which can contribute to postnasal drip, can also cause bad breath.
- Other causes: Diseases, including a few types of cancers, and conditions, such as metabolic disorders such as lactose intolerance, can cause a peculiar breath odor as a result of chemicals they produce. Chronic reflux of stomach contents (gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD) can be associated with bad breath. Bad breath in young children can be caused by an obstruction in the nose, such as a food particle.
What Can I Do to Prevent Bad Breath?
There are several easy and fast ways of getting rid of bad breath. Bear in mind that the aroma from what you eat will gradually be removed from your system. Bad breath can be removed or reduced by refraining from certain habits like:
- Practice good oral hygiene: Cleaning teeth twice a week with fluoride toothpaste is a good way to remove plaque and food debris. Brush your teeth and gums when you eat to keep your mouth clean between brushings, or carry a toothbrush on your next lunch break to brush after lunch. Be sure to brush your tongue and use a tongue scraper, too, to get rid of food debris antigens and bacteria. Bad breath may be on the residue on your tongue. If you have dinner and cannot brush afterward, rinse your mouth with water to loosen and free any trapped debris. Replace your toothbrush after 2 to 3 months or if you’re sick. Use dental floss or an interdental cleaner to remove food particles and plaque between two teeth on a daily basis. Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash twice a day. An antiseptic mouthwash can help kill harmful bacteria that may cause bad breath or plaque that may lead to gingivitis, a mild type of gum disease. To avoid tooth decay, be sure to rinse with a fluoride-containing mouthwash before bedtime. Removing your dentures at night and thoroughly cleaning them before putting them in your mouth can minimize the occurrence of oral infections.
- See your dentist regularly — at least twice a year: The dentist will perform an oral exam and professional teeth cleaning, during which they will look for any signs of periodontal disease, dry mouth, or other problems that could be causing bad breath. If any of these conditions are found, the dentist will work to treat them accordingly.
- Stop smoking and chewing tobacco-based products: If you’re looking to quit smoking and chewing tobacco-based products, your dentist may be able to offer some helpful tips. Giving up these habits can improve your oral health, and your dentist can offer guidance on how to make the process as smooth as possible.
- Drink lots of water: Chew sugarless gum or suck on sugarless candy to keep your mouth moist and stimulated the production of saliva, which helps wash away food particles and bacteria. Xylitol-containing gums and mints are the best choice.
- Eat more fruits and vegetables and less meat: Apples, carrots, and celery are all excellent foods for cleaning your teeth and freshening your breath. These hard fruits and vegetables help to remove plaque and food particles that can cause bad odors.
- Keep a log of the foods you eat: If you anticipate that the particular foods you’re eating might be causing bad breath, keep a log of the items. Likewise, write down all the prescription medications you take. Drugs taken may contribute to bad breath.
What are the symptoms of halitosis?
The main symptom of halitosis is an unpleasant smell from the mouth that is regarded as unacceptable. The smell can be worse in the morning or after smoking, drinking coffee, or eating certain foods such as garlic.