Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is an unpleasant smell coming from the mouth. It can be experienced by anyone and is one of the most common condition why people seek dental advice. There are a number of potential causes and treatments for bad breath.
Causes of Bad Breath
- Tobacco. Tobacco causes dry mouth and contributes to mouth odor. Smokers are more prone to develop gum disease which can also lead to bad breath.
- Food. Bad breath can also be caused by food particles stuck between your teeth. Other strong-smelling or pungent foods may leave an odor in your mouth.
- Dental Issues. Dental cavity and tooth decay may produce unpleasant smell in your mouth.
- Dry mouth. One of the common reason for bad breath is due to dry mouth. Saliva helps in cleansing our mouth. If less saliva is produced, build-up of odor-causing bacteria may occur which leads to halitosis.
- Poor Dental Habits. Poor dental habits may result to halitosis. Accumulation of bacteria in the mouth for long periods increases the chance of developing bad breath. Dentures can harbor bacteria if not cleansed regularly and properly which can cause bad breath.
- Diseases. Bad breath is usually directly linked to mouth or dental problems. However, there are certain disease that may be the underlying cause of bad breath such as Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), liver failure, kidney disease, diabetes, and other metabolic diseases.
Treatments for Bad Breath
If you notice you are experiencing bad breath lately, start by following a healthy daily dental routine. Oral hygiene is the key to handle bad breath issues. Other lifestyle changes and home remedies for bad breath include:
- Floss. To effectively remove food particles and plaque between your teeth, floss your teeth regularly. Food particle build up is a good medium for bacterial growth that can cause bad breath.
- Brush. It is necessary to brush your teeth after each meal or at least two times a day. Brush your teeth for about 2 minutes or more. Include your tongue when brushing your teeth.
- Clean dentures. If you are using dentures or mouth guard, it is advisable to clean them on a regular basis.
- Avoid dry mouth. Rehydrate your mouth. Drink a lot of water as much as possible. Refrain from alcohol and tobacco since these can cause dry mouth. Increase saliva production by chewing sugar-free gums/candies.
- Diet. Avoid eating garlic, onion, and spicy food. Also, reduce intake of sugary foods, coffee, and alcohol.
If bad breath persists, consult your dentist to further evaluate your problem. They can perform assessments and tests if there are underlying condition that is causing the bad breath. They can also provide better treatment and remedies to solve your bad breath.