There are several potential causes of bad breath.
1. Poor oral hygiene
The most common cause of halitosis (commonly referred to as bad breath) is not following a regime of good oral hygiene. This is because bacteria builds up and accumulates on your teeth as plaque, in the gaps between them, on your tongue and on your gums.
This same bacteria is also the cause of tooth decay and gum disease.
Good oral hygiene means regularly brushing and flossing your teeth to remove any trapped food trapped between your teeth and avoid it being broken down by the bacteria which causes a build up of plaque. It is also important to lightly brush you tongue and gums to remove the same harmful bacteria.
Oral hygiene should never be taken for granted and it is important to see your dentist every six months for a check-up and dental examination.
2. Food & drink
Consuming strongly flavored foods like onions, garlic and spices (curry for example) will produce bad smelling breadth. Also aromatic or strong smelling drinks like coffee and alcohol, can leave your breadth smelling of them.
Bad breath due to food and drink is not normally permanent. You can perhaps cut down on eating the worst foods too often and certainly reducing alcohol will have other health benefits. Always follow a daily regime of good oral hygiene with regular brushing and flossing.
We all know that smoking is associated with the development of serious health problems. Some are catastrophic. However, smoking also causes bad breath, stains your teeth, may irritate your gums and plays with your taste buds. It is also proven that it can significantly speed up the development of gum disease. There aren’t any good reasons to smoke and stopping will have so many positive effects on your health – do it today!
4. Crash dieting
Many people need to diet for obvious health reasons but crash dieting or fasting is another possible cause of bad breath. When the body doesn’t receive enough calories the body starts to break down fat and this produces a chemical called ketone which can sometimes be smelt on your breath. Sensible dieting with exercise should not result in bad breadth.
It is unfortunate but some types of medication can result in bad breath. If the medication you’re taking causes bad breath and it is of concern to you, ask your doctor about possible alternatives – they may be able to make another recommendation. You should never stop any medication without consultation with your doctor fist.
6. Health conditions
It is not common and in fact quite rare but certain medical conditions can cause halitosis. For example, in dry mouth (xerostomia), the flow and composition of saliva may be affected. Lacking enough saliva means it is easier for bacteria to build up in your mouth.
In some very rare cases, gastrointestinal problems can also cause bad breath.
Other medical conditions associated with bad breath are diabetes and lung, throat, or nose infections.