Causes of Bad Breath

Dr Nate with Patient

Halitosis, commonly known as bad breath, affects many individuals around the world and you may even suffer from it yourself. But do you know the common causes of bad breath or how to get rid of an unpleasant taste? Let’s take a look at the 7 causes of bad breath and easy ways to control the problem.

  1. Foods digested
    “You are what you eat” is a common phrase that most of us have heard from our parents growing up. Well Mom could have some solid evidence behind this silly saying. Although you may have pictured yourself as a giant piece of pizza, what Mom was trying to say was that your body system will only get it’s nutrients, vitamins, and minerals from your diet.The same goes for your breath and mouth. Your body is working off of what you consume, so if it is a spicy or strong-flavored food, than there is a higher chance that those foods are going to stay on your breath and in your system longer. Chemicals found in many foods, especially onions and garlic, can make their way into your bloodstream and lungs causing you to breathe out their odor long after brushing your teeth.
  2. Tobacco Products
    We have been told multiple times that using tobacco products is damaging to your health. Not only are they a bad habit, but the chemicals found inside them are known to cause bad breath. Tar, formaldehyde, nicotine, carbon monoxide, hydrogen cyanide… each of these chemicals enter your body, developing a distinct smell and bad breath.
  3. Poor dental hygiene
    You should brush and floss regularly. Brushing can help free particles lodged in between teeth. It’s also important to thoroughly brush your tongue, which is known to harbor odor-causing bacteria. Using a mouthwash designed to eliminate this harmful bacteria in your mouth is a great way to freshen your breath, as well.
  4. Dry mouth
    Dry mouth can easily cause bad breath because saliva is designed to constantly rinse out your mouth from any toxins or bacteria that develop. You can rinse your mouth with fresh water to activate the saliva, help loosen food particles, and wash away harmful bacteria. Dry mouth is often the culprit for bad morning breath since your saliva hasn’t yet been flushed throughout your mouth.
  5. Infections in mouth
    A buildup of bacteria in the mouth can cause infections that commonly contribute to bad breath. Catching a cold, flu, or other various infections can easily lead to bad breath because of extra drainage that is running down the nasal cavity to your throat. The drainage is produced by your respiratory system and sinuses when you are sick.
  6. Diseases
    A lot of diseases such as gum disease and gingivitis can develop in your mouth without the proper dental care. These diseases develop from the plaque and tartar that buildup on your teeth around the gum line and can lead to many serious symptoms including halitosis.

Try These Tips to Diminish Bad Breath

  • Drink more water
  • Brush your teeth regularly, including your tongue
  • Chew sugarless gum
  • Rid bad habits (smoking or chewing tobacco)
  • Avoid foods that sour your breath, especially onions, garlic & spicy foods
  • Use an alcohol-free mouthwash
  • Eat a hard fruit or vegetables (celery, apples)
  • Eat a well-balanced diet

If you think you are suffering from halitosis be sure to schedule regular cleanings every 6 months for a healthier and more refreshing mouth. Ask Dr. Mogren or one of our helpful Dental Hygienists about which cleaning is right for you. Please call us at (231) 737-5500 or schedule an appointment online.

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