What causes bad breath?
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is the cause of bacterial growth on the teeth, on the tongue and due to poor oral hygiene and gum disease. Almost everyone has experienced bad breath in their life every so often whether in the morning or other times during the day. Bad breath is a trouble maker especially when it is consistent, which hiders you from having a normal life and even causes changes in your social relationship. It has been shown that 90% of the halitosis or bad breath comes from your oral cavity and the remaining 10% has the other causes not related to the mouth either from diseases or other causes. There are a number of causes, treatments and home remedies to address your halitosis or bad breath.
We can point to the main causes of bad breath as the following:
- Poor oral hygiene
Following oral hygiene routine will ensure a fresh and healthier mouth and teeth. It is certain that poor oral condition of teeth has a wide range of negative impacts on our health, which tooth decay and bad breath are the most common ones. Food particles remaining in your mouth and accumulation of plaque formation on your teeth and especially your tongue will make a good environment for bacteria to grow and produce a foul and stinky smell.
If teeth are not brushed regularly and you don’t use mouthwashes to rinse your mouth, you are actually not washing away these bacteria and debris, so you should wait for a bad breath in the next morning and other mornings when you wake up.
- Gum disease
gum diseases like periodontitis and gingivitis problems are the most common causes of constant bad breath. Maybe your bad breath is showing you the bad signs of the gum disease. Gum irritation, redness of the mouth, mouth ulcers and lesions combined with plenty of oral-related bad conditions like halitosis and xerostomia (dry mouth) are warnings for you to take action and to treat your gums.
- Foods and diets
there are some foods and diets that leave you with bad breath in the mouth during your day. Onions and garlic are the most notable bad-breath producers. Following low-carb diet and being fast for longer hours are also well-known causes for the malodor in your mouth.
Too much fast foods, sauces, pizza and sandwiches are contributing factors for having a bad breath. So, think about changes in your foods and diets before bad breath bothers you and people around you.
- Tobacco and alcohol
smoking and consumption of alcohol not only give most people the foul bad breath every time they use them but also are the primary sources of dry mouth. People who have a high level of alcohol consumption and tobacco products use are prone to gingivitis and periodontal disease, which is shown by inflammation of their gums and even oral lesions and ulceration in or around their mouth.
- Diseases and drugs
There are certain kinds of diseases from different parts of body, for example, from kidney diseases, liver problems, diabetes and infections related to the respiratory problems like sinusitis, bronchitis and others like gastrointestinal diseases can all cause bad breath. Sometime medications and drugs that you use to treat diseases can have multiple side effects among them dry mouth and bad breath.
- Dry mouth
low saliva rate and changes in saliva composition leads to dry mouth, which is also called xerostomia. Dry mouth will also result in halitosis. Because of the lack of mouth moist, bacteria will find a good dry environment to grow.
Saliva will not just moisturize your mouth but kill bacteria and contribute to the breakdown of the food particles. Morning bad breath is a well-known type of bad breath that has to do with this low saliva and dry mouth during morning times.
- Other causes of halitosis
unclean dentures and bridges are foreign objects in our mouth that should be cleaned regularly. Since these orthodontic appliances are in direct contact with our teeth and gums, bacteria can be transferred easily into the mouth. Patients undergoing chemotherapy due to certain medications can also experience bad breath. Nose infections or inflammation is another cause we should mention from the bad breath lists of causes.
What are the treatments for bad breath?
When your bad breath doesn’t go away and you end up having foul smell breath every morning, you may want a much better treatment strategy to get rid of your bad breath. If you visit a dentist or a doctor to treat your bad breath, a number of examinations and check-ups will be done to reach to a conclusion for the cause of your bad breath.
Your dentist will treat your bad breath by:
- Restoration of your teeth
the cavities in teeth, unrestored teeth and bad teeth fillings are breeding grounds for malodor and your bad breath. So, fixing and restoring those decayed teeth and fillings will freshen your mouth and as a result your breath.
- Refer you to a periodontist
treating gum diseases in severe cases requires a periodontist’s visit not just to stop the halitosis but to prevent other serious negative effects on your gums and ultimately the periodontal jaw bone. Periodontal therapy and controlling oral malodor are what periodontists do to help you to stop your bad breath.
- Help you find the main cause
visiting a dentist ensures that whether the bad breath is from your oral cavity or it has other nonoral causes related to your background diseases. Therefore, you may be referred to a doctor or even a specialist to find the source of the bad smell of your mouth.
home remedies for bad breath
If you get used to at-home bad breath remedies to treat your halitosis, you will stop and prevent mouth odor of your mouth in the long run and very easily. Changes in lifestyle and eating habits together with routine oral hygiene practices guarantee your oral health and as a result your overall health.
Top at-home remedies for bad breath
- Brush your tongue
your tongue is the number one cause for halitosis or bad breath. The tongue can house microorganisms and bacteria, which are formed by the plaques of the teeth, food debris and the gum diseases. You can sweep away any debris or bacteria by gently brushing your tongue right after brushing the teeth with another special brush just used for your tongue. Also you can get access to tongue cleaners available in the market to clean your tongue.
- Use mouthwashes
along with your daily brushing and flossing, use antimicrobial mouthwashes to clean your mouth. Mouthwash use became popular because of freshening features and giving a pleasant smell and taste to your mouth. You can prevent the accumulation of bacteria and food particles over your tongue and on teeth by using mouthwashes daily.
- Have a healthier diet
eat fresh fruits and cut down on strong and spicy foods. Avoid alcohol and quit smoking and be sure that you see the results quickly. Onions, garlic, coffee, sauces and foods high in sugar are all in some way cause bad breath. Although health benefits of garlic and onions when eaten fresh is unavoidable, but when these are sources of your bad breath, eat them in lower amount and not much.
- Use chewing gum
chewing gum is the easiest way to stimulate more saliva to get rid of debris and plaque on teeth. Flavored gums, chewing gums that contain xylitol or other sweetened gums will offer a pleasant and a fresh smell to your mouth free of any bad breath and bacteria.
- Use herbs
herbs provide the best bad breath treatments. You can chew mint, rosemary, parsley and basil as fresh herbs, or you can use them in your tea to have a pleasant-smelling breath. Choose green tea in your tea time drinking habit, green tea is like a deodorant and has disinfecting advantages.