Also called halitosis, bad breath can be caused by a number of issues.
Food. Some of the foods we eat can give us temporary bad breath. Garlic, onions, coffee, spicy or fragrant foods can leave your mouth less than fresh. Brush your teeth, chew sugar-free gum, or use mouthwash for a burst of freshness.
Tobacco. Smoking and tobacco use not only cause bad breath, they can create oral cancers, stain teeth and irritate your gums. Consider a tobacco free lifestyle to reduce the negative effects.
Dental issues. Bad breath can be caused by dental issues such as gum disease or cavities. Crowded teeth or ill-fitting dental appliances can also cause bad breath. See your dentist to rule out any oral care issues as a culprit.
Bacteria. Without proper brushing, flossing, and regular visits to the dentist, bacteria is not being removed from your mouth. The build-up of this sticky bacteria can lead to bad breath. By following the ADA recommendation of brushing twice a day, flossing daily, and routine visits to the dentist, you can keep bacteria in check.
Dry mouth. Lack of saliva creates dry mouth, which may be a side effect of medications, smoking, or mouth breathing or it could be a symptom of an underlying health concern. Talk to your dentist about dry mouth for the best remedies for both dry mouth and resulting bad breath.
Disease. Sinus infections, tonsillitis, respiratory issues and even diabetes can result in bad breath. Your doctor may prescribe medication for these conditions which may make dry mouth, and resulting bad breath worse. Talk to your doctor if your side effects are problematic.
Addressing Bad Breath
In order to address bad breath, you need to understand what’s causing it. The best way to discover the underlying reason for bad breath is being honest about your lifestyle and habits with both your dentist and doctor to create the best approach to getting rid of bad breath. Many times bad breath can be avoided by living a tobacco free life, keeping a good oral health care routine (brushing twice a day and flossing daily) and of course seeing your dentist at least twice a year.