Causes of Bad Breath to Consider
FoodFood is a major contributor to bad breath in more than one way. When food is eaten, little bits of it are left behind on the surface of the teeth, beneath the gum line, and between the teeth themselves. This food debris encourages bacteria’s growth, which, in turn, allows the development of plaque. This all produces an unpleasant smell in the mouth.
Smoking and Other Tobacco ProductsSmoking or tobacco products like “chew” is another significant habit that can greatly increase bad breath daily. On top of carrying its unpleasant odor, smoking dries out the soft tissue of your mouth, making infections, tooth decay, and gum disease much more likely to occur. These side effects alone are also causes of bad breath.
Dry MouthDry mouth, otherwise known as xerostomia, while having the potential for many different causes, is a cause of bad breath due to the lack of saliva in the oral cavity. Saliva works as a flushing system to remove food debris, plaque, and bacteria from around the gums, tongue, and teeth. If there isn’t enough saliva in the mouth, these materials and byproducts will sit in the mouth and cause bad breath. This is the cause of “morning breath,”, especially for those that sleep with their mouths open.
InfectionsInfections caused by viruses and bacteria residing beneath the gum line or in breaks in the tissue also cause an odor. Such infections across the body often carry an unpleasant smell. Due to the mouth’s generally warm, wet environment, infections, and bacteria are increasingly likely to occur when left untreated with daily oral hygiene and general dental services.
How to Manage Bad BreathThere are several ways to manage bad breath and slowly eliminate it over time, such as:
- Brush – Brushing twice daily and between meals can significantly encourage better-smelling breath by removing many bacteria and debris that cause halitosis.
- Floss – Flossing reaches the tight spots between the teeth and around the gum line to help prevent gum disease and plaque build-up that would quickly lead to bad breath
- Mouthwash – Using mouthwash at least once a day, especially mouthwash with fluoride, is an excellent way of killing germs and bacteria and washing food and plaque down the sink that would have otherwise worked to make breath repellent to those nearby
- Healthy Diet – Diet can influence the quality and smell of breath not only through the food debris that clings to the teeth and gums but through the digestive tract when food absorbs into your bloodstream, reaches your lungs, and erupts as bad breath.
- Regular Health Check-Ups – Overall health should always be considered when something is not right or unpleasant for you or your loved ones; conditions such as asthma, a sinus infection, bowel obstruction, and cancer can all contribute to bad breath.