It’s common to have bad breath after eating certain foods like garlic and onions. But persistent bad breath, or halitosis, can be embarrassing and prevent us from enjoying life to the fullest. Halitosis can be caused by quite a few different factors and may indicate more serious health issues. Here are some causes of chronic bad breath and a few ways to alleviate it.
5 Main Causes of Bad Breath
- A Diet High in Sugar
- Poor Oral Hygiene
- Certain Diseases
Onions and garlic are particularly pungent foods and are known for causing bad breath, but your favorite sugary foods and drinks like candy, dried fruit, white bread, chips, soda, and alcohol can also cause bad breath over time. This is because when bacteria on our teeth feed on these sugars, they release acid that breaks down the enamel of your teeth, which can lead to tooth decay and bad breath.
If you don’t brush and floss your teeth every day, you allow bacteria to thrive and build up in your mouth, especially in those hard-to-reach areas like in-between your teeth and under your gumline. As plaque accumulates, it gets harder to control, starts to stink, hardens into tartar, and causes gum disease, tooth decay, and eventual tooth loss.
Smoking will suppress your immune system, making your body more vulnerable to infection. Due to decreased immunity and decreased saliva production, smokers are at increased risk of developing tooth decay since their body is less able to fight off the bacteria in your mouth. Smoke and chemicals from the cigarettes also linger in the mouth for hours after lighting up, worsening bad breath.
If you have an infection in your mouth, nose, or throat, odor-causing bacteria in your mouth can feed on the mucus from postnasal drip and rapidly multiply.
Diabetes, kidney disease, and stomach ailments can cause bad breath and mouth dryness, which can exacerbate existing bad breath.
Solutions for Bad Breath
If you have bad breath due to diet, use sugar-free gum and mints, rinse with an alcohol-free mouthwash, and consume a more balanced diet that includes plenty of water, fiber, leafy greens, protein, and necessary vitamins and nutrients. Limit your intake of processed foods and drinks with added sugar, and avoid or quit smoking.
For more chronic bad breath, practice excellent oral hygiene habits by brushing your teeth twice a day for two minutes each time, flossing at least once a day, and visiting Dr. Patel every six months. He will come up with a individualized treatment plan to address the root cause of your bad breath.
We Want You to Have Great Oral Health!
At Cary Family Dental, your oral health is our top priority. If you have chronic bad breath, we’re here to help you figure out the cause and find a safe and effective solution. Contact us to schedule an appointment today!