Bad Breath: What Causes It?

BadBreath

It’s a myth that as long as you brush your teeth, you shouldn’t have bad breath.

Bad breath, or halitosis, is characterized by an unpleasant odor of the mouth. Bad breath can be made worse by the types of foods you eat and other insanitary lifestyle habits.

Bad breath odors vary, from person to person, cause to cause. You see, some people worry too much about their breath even though they have little or no mouth odor, while others have bad breath and don’t know it. Because it’s difficult to assess how your own breath smells,

Bad breath can be embarrassing and tough on those around you, it can affect your self-esteem as well as your self-confidence.

So what causes bad breath? Here are some factors that may be its underlying cause:

Poor dental hygiene. The most common cause of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush and floss daily, food particles remain in your mouth, causing bad breath. A colorless, sticky film of bacteria (plaque) forms on your teeth and if not brushed away, plaque can aggravate your gums (gingivitis), contributing to bad breath. Also, dentures that aren’t cleaned on a regular basis or don’t fit as it should be can cause bad breath.

Food and drinks. Eating strongly flavored foods – namely garlic, onions and spices – is likely to make your breath smell – but it doesn’t mean that it’s bad. Same goes with strong-smelling drinks – such as coffee and alcohol. Bad breath caused by food and drink is usually momentary, and can be avoided by not eating or drinking these types of food and drink too often. Good dental hygiene will also help.

Dry mouth. Saliva helps rinse out your mouth, removing particles that may cause bad odors. A condition called dry mouth can contribute to bad breath because production of saliva is decreased. Dry mouth naturally occurs during sleep, leading to “morning breath,” and is made worse if you sleep with your mouth open.

Crash dieting. Fasting and low-carbohydrate diets can also cause bad breath. These cause the body to break down fat, which produces chemicals called ketones that can be smelt.

Smoking. The smoke itself that is put into your mouth already makes it obvious that it can affect your breath. Smoking can also stain your teeth, irritate your gums and lessen your sense of taste.

oral_health

Maintaining good oral health and limiting things that aren’t good for it are necessary to reducing and prevent bad breath. Make sure to also schedule regular dental visits for a dental cleaning and checkup but it’s you who must turn to your food and lifestyle to completely address this condition.

Brush thoroughly twice a day with fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque, and brush your tongue, too.

Talk to your dentist if you’re concerned about bad breath.

References:

http://www.colgate.com/en/us/oc/oral-health/conditions/bad-breath/article/ada-03-what-causes-bad-breath

http://articles.mercola.com/bad-breath.aspx

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