Common Causes of Bad Breath

Bad-smelling breath affects us all at some point, usually after we consume a flavorful meal. But usually, you can get rid of bad breath by rinsing away lingering food particles that give off an odor that is present in your breath. You can drink water or brush your teeth to fight bad breath in most cases.

If bad breath persists despite oral hygiene efforts, then it may be a symptom of an underlying dental problem. You should contact a dentist to ensure that this halitosis does not point to a more serious concern.

You can feel more confident visiting your dentist when you know more about the causes behind this problem. Read on to discover four potential reasons you might suffer from chronic bad breath as well as what you can do to fix the issue.

Common Causes of Bad Breath

Fragrant Foods

Most instances of bad breath happen due to the foods you eat. Bits of food that stay in your mouth can start to decay, giving off an odor that affects the scent of your breath. However, your diet can influence your breath in other ways as well.

If you consume particularly strong or flavorful foods, like onions or garlic, their fragrant oils will infiltrate your bloodstream. Then they can reach your lungs and make your breath smell in a way that oral hygiene cannot address. This odor can remain for longer than a day, so pay attention to the foods and beverages you consume and how they affect your breath.

Poor Oral Hygiene

Oral hygiene refers to the routine efforts you take to keep your mouth clean. Brushing your teeth and flossing can fight bad breath by eliminating lingering food residues. But this regimen also gets rid of other natural build-up on your teeth like plaque.

Oral bacteria will collect on your smile to form a sticky film called plaque. If left on the teeth, plaque will eat away at your dental structure and breed more bacteria. Excess bacteria will give off a bad smell that can transfer to your breath.

Maintain a thorough and consistent oral hygiene regimen to ensure that you clear away plaque build-up in a timely fashion that will not cause smelly breath. For optimal oral hygiene, attend routine dental cleanings at your dentist’s office too.

Dry Mouth

Ever feel a tacky, dry sensation in your mouth? Dry mouth is a relatively common condition that happens when your mouth does not produce enough saliva to stay moist. In many cases, the cause of dry mouth is dehydration.

When your mouth is dry, oral bacteria can spread with greater ease, so you can see an influx of excess bacteria which can smell bad and make your breath smell too. Drink plenty of water to stay hydrated and keep dry mouth and resulting bad breath at bay.

Gum Disease

Though common, affecting about half of adult dental patients in the United States, many people do not realize the dangers that gum disease can bring to the smile. This infection of the gum tissue will deteriorate the gums to the extent that you can suffer damage to the teeth and jawbone as well.

Bacterial build-up within the gum pockets from the infection can give you bad breath too. You will need periodontal therapy from your dentist to treat gum disease, which will not go away on its own.

Do not ignore bad breath because it could point to dental conditions like this. Call your dentist if you notice persistent bad-smelling breath.