Bad breath, medically termed halitosis, can be embarrassing and may even lead to anxiety. Few foods, health issues and unhealthy lifestyle practices are among the causes of bad breath.
Bad Breath Causes
- Food. Food breakdown in your mouth. This increase bacteria and generate foul odor. When you consume foods, like onions, garlic and spices, that can also cause bad breath. After you digest these foods, they make entry into your bloodstream and are carried to your lungs. This can affect your breath.
- Tobacco products. Smoking undoubtedly has its own displeasing mouth odor. Smokers and oral tobacco users are more prone to have gum disease- another cause of bad breath.
- Poor oral hygiene. If you don't brush, food particles stick in your mouth, causing bad breath. A colorless, sticky film of bacteria (plaque) builds on your teeth. Plaque can irritate your gums and eventually advance to form periodontitis (severe gum disease). Consistent bad breath can be a signal of Periodontitis. Your tongue can even trap bacteria that release odors. Dentures that aren't cleaned properly or don't fit precisely can harbor odor-producing bacteria and food particles.
- Dry mouth. Saliva moistens your mouth and washes away food particles. A dry mouth can generate bad breath since production of saliva is reduced. Chronic dry mouth can be caused by any trouble with your salivary glands and certain diseases.
- Medications. Certain medications can indirectly develop bad breath by contributing to dry mouth. While others can be broken down in the body to generate chemicals that can be carried on your breath.
- Infections in your mouth. Surgical wounds can also generate bad breath. These are wounds caused after oral surgery, or result of tooth caries, gum troubles or mouth sores.
- Crash diets: Fasting and low-carbohydrate consuming routines can release bad breath. It happens due to the breakdown of fats generating chemicals known as ketones. These ketones have a powerful aroma.
- Other mouth, nose and throat conditions. Bad breath can at times emerge from small stones that build in the tonsils. They are usually covered with bacteria that release odor. Infections or chronic inflammation in the nose, sinuses or throat, can contribute to bad breath.
- Other causes. Diseases, like certain cancers, liver failure and conditions like metabolic disorders, can result in particular breath odor. This happens due to the chemicals they generate. Kids can also suffer bad breath caused by a foreign body, like a piece of food, stuck in a nostril.
How Bad Breath is treated?
Generally your trusted dentist can treat the cause of bad breath. Your dentist will perform an oral exam and Dental Cleaning might be done. If the odor is caused from gum disease, your dentist can either treat or refer you to a Periodontist.
What Can I Do to Prevent Bad Breath?
- Brush twice daily with fluoride toothpaste. And clean the tongue, too.
- Change your toothbrush every 2-3 months.
- Floss once daily.
- Use an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Dentures should be cleaned thoroughly before being placed the next day.
- Quit smoking and chewing tobacco-based items.
- Stay hydrated. You can also go for sugar-free chewing-gums.
- Get regular check-ups from your dentist -- at least twice a year.