Chronic bad breath medically referred to as Halitosis, is a treatable condition that is very common for many adults. In fact, it is estimated that about 25%-30% of the world’s population suffer from halitosis. The odor that emanates from your mouth may either be a sign of poor oral hygiene or a result of other health issues or problems. Additionally, it is also equally important to note that bad breath may be worsened by unhealthy lifestyle habits and the types of food types that you eat. Consequently, here are the most common causes of bad breath.
Since food is broken down into small particles in your mouth, some small particles will get stuck between your teeth. It is these remains of food particles that promote bacterial growth on the tongue, around gums, and between teeth and therefore cause bad breath.
- Smoking and Tobacco Use
Smokers often experience unpleasant mouth odor. Moreover, smoking and chewing tobacco-based products often cause gum tissue damage which in turn causes gum disease. Gum disease is a common source of bad breath.
- Gum Disease
If the sticky and colorless plaque on teeth is not removed, then with time it hardens and forms tartar which cannot be eliminated by a simple brushing of the teeth. The increased buildup of tartar on your teeth results into more growth of bacteria that causes gums inflammation and disease and bad breath.
- Dry Mouth
An important purpose of saliva is to help clean your mouth through the removal of food particles in the mouth that causes bad breath. When the saliva production happens to decrease, a condition known as dry mouth (xerostomia), bad breath becomes inevitable. This condition of dry mouth naturally occurs when you are sleeping, resulting in “morning breath”. Chronic dry mouth may be a result of salivary glands problem or some diseases.
When food particles break down in your mouth, this creates acids and increases bacteria growth which in turns results in an odorous breath. When you eat flavorful foods and drinks including garlic, onions, and spices, they end up in your bloodstream after digestion. Since the digested foods are in your bloodstream, they are able to be transported to your lungs and hence affect your breath.
- Medical Conditions
You can also experience bad breath as a result of an infection in surgical wounds. The surgical wounds may have been caused by oral surgery such as for tooth removal. Other diseases and metabolic disorders such as cancers and GERD (gastroesophageal reflux disease) can also cause bad breath due to the chemicals produced. Moreover, there are also certain medications that release chemicals that find their way into your breath.
Ways to Eliminate Bad Breath
Observe good oral hygiene. Brushing and flossing your teeth twice daily, especially after a meal, is required for the purpose of removing the food particles from your mouth and thus discouraging the growth of odor-causing bacteria. Moreover, an antibacterial mouthwash should also be used twice a day for rinsing your mouth. Dentures also should be fit properly and removed and cleaned regularly to discourage bacterial buildup from flavorful foods and drinks consumed.
- Go for dental checkups/cleanings at least twice a year. This will enable your dentist to examine, detect and treat dry mouth, periodontal disease and other possible causes of bad breath.
- Avoid the use of tobacco products. You can ask your dentist to supply you with the appropriate tips for fighting this habit.
- Drink plenty of water. This will help in regard to keeping your mouth moist. You can also stimulate the production of saliva by chewing sugarless gum or sucking on sugarless candy.