What Causes Bad Breath?

What Causes Bad Breath?

What Causes Bad Breath?

So, what causes bad breath? Let’s talk about a topic that we’ve all experienced at some point or another – bad breath, also known as halitosis. We’ve all been in situations where we’ve had to cover our mouths while speaking, or have been too scared to talk too close to someone because of our breath. But fear not, bad breath is a common condition that can be treated with some simple adjustments to your daily routine. Let’s dive into the symptoms, causes, and treatments for bad breath.

Symptoms of Bad Breath

The most obvious symptom of bad breath is a strong, unpleasant odor coming from the mouth. This odor can vary in intensity, and may be more noticeable at certain times of the day or after eating certain foods. In addition to the odor, you may also experience a dry or bad taste in your mouth. If you’re unsure if you have bad breath, try asking a trusted friend or family member for their honest opinion.

What causes bad breath can include eating junk food like pictured here

What Causes Bad Breath?

There are a variety of factors that can contribute to bad breath. One of the most common causes is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss regularly, food particles can get stuck in your teeth and cause bacteria to grow, resulting in bad breath. Other causes include:

  • Dry mouth. Saliva plays an important role in neutralizing bacteria in the mouth. If you have a dry mouth, you may be more susceptible to bad breath.
  • Tobacco use. Smoking or using other tobacco products can leave a lingering odor on your breath.
  • Certain foods. Foods like garlic and onions contain strong-smelling compounds that can cause bad breath.
  • Medical conditions. Certain medical conditions like gum disease, sinus infections, and acid reflux can also cause bad breath.
  • Dieting. Low-carb diets can be what causes bad breath due to the breakdown of fats producing ketones, which have a distinctive smell.
  • Medications. Some medications can indirectly lead to bad breath by contributing to dry mouth.

Twin Cities dentist at Krengel dental holding up toothbrush

How to Treat Bad Breath

The good news is that bad breath is usually treatable with some simple adjustments to your daily routine. Here are a few tips to help treat what causes bad breath:

  • Practice good oral hygiene. Inadequate brushing and flossing can leave food particles in your mouth, promoting bacterial growth on the teeth, gums, and tongue. Brush your teeth at least twice a day, floss daily, and use mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
  • Clean your tongue. Use a tongue scraper or brush your tongue to remove bacteria and food particles.
  • Replace your toothbrush regularly. Change out your toothbrush head or toothbrush every 3-4 months or after an illness.
  • Stay hydrated. Saliva helps cleanse the mouth by removing food particles and bacteria. Drinking plenty of water can help keep your mouth moist and prevent bad breath.
  • Avoid tobacco products. Not only do tobacco products cause bad breath, but they also increase your risk of gum disease and other oral health problems.
  • Visit your dentist every six months for a teeth cleaning. Professional cleanings remove plaque and tartar that regular brushing can’t eliminate on its own. You can schedule an appointment with us here.
  • Watch what you eat. Certain foods like garlic and onions, as mentioned above, can cause bad breath. Try to limit your consumption of these foods, or brush your teeth immediately after eating them. Here is a list of tooth safe foods.
  • Chew sugar-free gum: Chewing gum can help stimulate saliva production and freshen your breath.

Different tooth paste tubes which can prevent bad breath

Remember to practice good oral hygiene, stay hydrated, and avoid tobacco products to keep your breath smelling fresh. We hope you learned some treatments for what causes bad breath. If you’re still experiencing bad breath despite these measures, don’t hesitate to contact our office to get a thorough cleaning and checkup.