Cavities, Bad Breath and Other Embarrassing Topics

7 Common Causes of Bad Breath

Sometimes called halitosis, bad breath is a common but often deeply embarrassing condition. Before you can solve the problem of bad breath, you need to understand what is causing it in the first place. Consider these seven common causes of bad breath.

1. Diet 

Smelly foods, such as garlic, leave a lingering odour on the breath. Brushing your teeth or chewing gum after you consume these foods can help to avoid this reaction. Other dietary causes of bad breath include alcohol, coffee and tea, which all reduce saliva production. it also reduces sugar, which encourages the growth of bacteria. Cutting back on these foods will help to keep your mouth moist and limit bacteria growth, leading to fresher-smelling breath.

2. Oral Hygiene

Sometimes, bad breath is a sign that you are not cleaning your mouth thoroughly enough. As well as thoroughly brushing all surfaces of your teeth, you should also floss, brush your tongue and use mouthwash to fight bacterial growth in the mouth.

3. Dehydration

If you let yourself get dehydrated, then your body cannot make the saliva it needs to keep your mouth moist and healthy. Sipping water throughout the day can help you stay hydrated and combat bad breath.

4. Smoking

Not only does the strong smell of cigarette smoke linger, but smoking also dries out the mouth, helping bacteria to thrive. If you smoke, try to cut down or switch to e-cigarettes as a less smelly alternative.

5. Gum Disease

Many cases of bad breath are actually symptoms of gum disease. If it's been a while since you last saw a dentist, schedule a check-up today. Gum disease is treatable, but if you leave it unaddressed, it can lead to tooth loss and even damage to the jaw bone.

6. Ketosis

Many people notice that they have bad breath when they try a keto diet for weight loss. This type of extreme low-carb diet works by putting the body into a state where it burns ketones for energy instead of glucose. It can be very effective, but the ketone-burning state leads to an acetone-like odour on the breath that can be difficult to mask. One alternative is to eat a calorie-controlled diet with a mixture of carbohydrates, fat and protein for slow and steady weight loss.

7. Illness

Sometimes, bad breath is a sign that you are coming down with a viral or bacterial illness. Tonsillitis and other throat infections are likely to cause bad breath. The good news is that when the infection clears up, the smell of your breath should return to normal.

For more information regarding this condition, contact a dentist