Most people are unaware of the fact that they have bad breath. The bacteria that live in the mouth are the primary causes of bad breath. The mouth’s warm, moist conditions make the perfect environment for these bacteria to grow.
Causes of Bad Breath
Bad breath can be caused by internal and external factors. Internal factors include oral factors that can affect the body systemically. For example, the tongue is a great place for bacteria to attach and grow. Most of these odor-causing bacteria reside in the posterior area of the tongue. External factors can be the types of foods that we eat such as garlic and onions. Also, people who use tobacco and alcohol can also experience bad breath.
Other causes of bad breath can include the following:
- Poor oral hygiene, gingivitis and periodontal disease
- Dentures (plaque on dentures)
- Dry mouth (lack of saliva)
- Mouth, nose and throat issues (sinus or throat infections)
- Diseases such as diabetes, lung infections or abscesses, kidney/liver failure, and gastrointestinal conditions
- External Factors – Garlic, onions, coffee, cigarette smoking, chewing tobacco
What Can You Do About It?
Fortunately, bad breath is treatable. A few effective things you can do to eliminate bad breath include:
- Brush and floss: In most cases, bad breath is usually the result of a lack of oral hygiene, so be sure to brush at least twice a day and floss once. A key thing to remember is to also brush your tongue. Food particles can stick to the tongue causing bad breath.
- Keep your saliva flowing: Saliva is one way that your body naturally keeps your breath smelling fresh. If you’re experiencing dry mouth, try drinking more water or chew sugar-free gum to keep saliva flowing.
- Visit your dentist: Visiting your dentist is the most effective way to take care of your bad breath. Your dentist will be able to identify what is causing your bad breath and can recommend a variety of treatments to help you.
Bad breath is very common but it’s difficult to detect on your own, so be sure to visit your dentist regularly and ask about ways to fight chronic bad breath.