Bad breath, or halitosis, can be an embarrassing condition and Americans alone spend one billion dollars per year on various breath products. Fortunately, most cases of bad breath are easily treated. Below is a list of some of the main causes of halitosis:
Diet: Certain foods and drinks such as garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol can be causes of temporary bad breath.
Poor dental hygiene: Bacteria feed off mucus, food remnants, and dead tissue cells. They break down the organic matter and the byproducts of this process cause the bad smell. Therefore, it is important to properly brush and floss your teeth daily to clean these particles from your mouth. Most bad breath causing bacteria reside at the back of your tongue so be sure to use your toothbrush or a tongue scraper to clean this area.
Smoking and chewing tobacco: Not only do tobacco products cause bad breath, users of these products have higher rates of gum disease (which also causes bad breath) plus other serious health issues.
Dry mouth: Saliva works to wash out your mouth so if you do not have enough saliva, your mouth is not getting cleaned as much as it should. Chronic dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, especially prescription medications, salivary gland disorders, or by primarily breathing through your mouth.
Infections: Oral surgical wounds, advanced gum disease caused by plaque, tooth decay, and mouth sores can all be causes of foul mouth odor. Proper oral hygiene can help prevent some of these issues.
Other health conditions: Bad breath can be a symptom of some other serious health conditions including sinus issues, diabetes, and liver or kidney disease.
If you have been unable to get rid of your bad breath by avoiding certain foods or consistently practicing proper dental hygiene, please see a dentist so they can help you identify possible underlying issues and recommend more advanced treatments to cure your halitosis.