Bad breath may seem embarrassing, but it’s actually more common than you think! with the most common causes of bad breath being dry mouth, poor oral hygiene and certain foods and beverages (such as onions and garlic). In fact, about 60% of people have experienced bad breath at one point or another fortunately, you can fight bad breath by combating the most common causes of bad breath. Here are 7 common causes of bad breath and how to treat them.
7 Common Causes of Bad Breath:
1) Poor Oral Hygiene
The most common cause of bad breath (halitosis) is due to poor oral hygiene. If you aren’t brushing your teeth twice a day and flossing at least once, it can be hard for you to prevent bad breath.
If your regular toothpaste isn’t cutting it, try using a mouthwash after brushing; many will kill off bacteria that causes bad breath. For example, we have used Listerine for years on our teeth which has been helpful with morning breath throughout the day. Also, if you are not cleaning your tongue properly then make sure to do so. Many people don’t realize how important their tongue is in regards to their overall health and hygiene.
Smoking is bad for you. There are few other things I can say that do a better job at communicating its drawbacks. If you’re suffering from bad breath, smoking is one of many causes. Stopping will improve your breath in short order, but sometimes smokers with bad breath will continue because they don’t realize how poor their oral health has become as a result.
In such cases, visiting your dentist should be on your to-do list before quitting so you can ensure your overall health stays in good shape while cleaning up your mouth. Your dentist will also be able to help you kick your habit by offering nicotine gum or patches—or even prescription drugs if necessary. But first, let’s look at some of the other common causes of bad breath
3) Dry Mouth
When it comes to bad breath, dry mouth is a common cause. Dry mouth can be caused by breathing through your mouth, which dries out your tongue. It can also be caused by medications such as antidepressants or antihistamines. Dry mouth can even be linked with sleep apnea, so if you’re having problems sleeping at night due to snoring or dry mouth, have your doctor check for sleep apnea. If you do have dry mouth, drinking more water will help keep bad breath away. Chewing sugarless gum also helps increase saliva flow in your mouth.
Studies have shown that dieting can increase your risk for bad breath, especially if you’re combining fasting with a high-protein diet. (Sorry, Atkins devotees.) Lack of fiber in your food causes bacteria in your mouth to multiply rapidly, leading to bad breath. Eating high-fiber foods like fruits and vegetables will ensure you keep your breath smelling fresh between meals. Bacteria also thrives on sugar, so avoiding sweets will also help stave off bad breath. Artificial sweeteners can be especially dangerous as they’ve been shown to promote tooth decay while also promoting bacterial growth—definitely worth ditching those diet sodas!
Many prescription medications have bad breath as a side effect. If you’re taking any medicines that leave your mouth with a funky odor, talk to your doctor about switching or adjusting them.
This might not be an option if you are on a medication that is critical for your health but there are certainly alternatives to many medicines which treat common ailments like allergies, heartburn, high blood pressure, etc. Here are some examples: allergies — Allegra (fexofenadine), Claritin (loratidine); sinusitis — Nasonex (mometasone); high blood pressure — Lisinopril; depression and anxiety — Celexa (citalopram). Additionally, certain types of chemotherapy also have unpleasant mouth side effects.
6) Dental Issues
It’s a pretty common misconception that dental issues only affect your mouth—in reality, bad breath is a result of bacteria buildup, which can lead to more serious issues like chronic halitosis. The first thing you can do when something smells off is schedule an appointment with your dentist.
They’ll be able to treat any underlying medical problems with medication or by removing unhealthy teeth, which will leave you both fresher-breathed and healthier overall. In some cases, they might even suggest dietary changes that could help limit oral odor. If you’re looking for quicker fixes in between visits, try chewing gum or mints; these natural breath fresheners are also great ways to avoid eating stinky foods (see below).
Diabetes can cause more than just nasty breath: it can also affect your overall oral health. Diabetes is a disease in which blood sugar levels become abnormally high, which can lead to bacteria growing in your mouth. Left untreated, these bacteria can cause infection in your gums, tongue and even other parts of your body like your heart. Fortunately, there are things you can do to avoid bad breath caused by diabetes and maintain optimal oral health.
Here’s how to prevent bad breath caused by diabetes
1. Brush twice daily with an antibacterial toothpaste. These toothpastes have added ingredients that kill harmful bacteria in your mouth and fight gum disease. Be sure to floss as well, since plaque on your teeth or between them can be a breeding ground for germs. (Flossing actually helps keep teeth cleaner than brushing alone.)
2. Schedule regular dental checkups every six months with your dentist or hygienist – they will help you stay on top of any developing problems that could lead to periodontal (gum) disease or infections around your teeth or jawline.