Bad breath, scientifically called halitosis, is embarrassing. It can have an impact on our confidence and our personal interactions. It is actually one of the most common reasons people seek dental treatment.
Some of the most common causes of bad breath are:
- Poor oral hygiene. If you don’t brush your teeth thoroughly enough, particles of food may be left in your mouth. The breakdown of those particles can promote the growth of bacteria and leave a bad odor.
- Diet rich in pungent foods. Foods such as garlic and onion are rich in sulfur compounds. They affect your breath, even as they are being digested.
- Using tobacco products. Besides the obvious bad odor, smoking or using chewing tobacco can affect your own sense of smell; you may not even realize how badly your breath smells. And tobacco users have an increased risk of gum disease which also contributes to halitosis.
- Certain medications. Unfortunately, many prescription medications break down into chemicals that are carried to our breath. Furthermore, many medications can cause dry mouth which also causes halitosis
To keep bad breath away, be sure to brush and floss regularly. Don’t forget about your tongue during your daily oral hygiene routine. Avoid dry mouth by stimulating saliva flow; drink lots of water, eat fibrous foods and reduce consumption of coffee and alcohol.
If you suffer from halitosis, see your dental professional. It may be caused by one of these common reasons, but it could be a sign of a more serious problem.