BAD BREATH (HALITOSIS): CAUSES, REMEDIES, AND TREATMENTS
What is Halitosis?
Bad breath, or halitosis, is mainly caused by the buildup of bacteria in the mouth, which produces a foul smell. Bad breath can be embarrassing, but fortunately once you have identified the causes, you can begin treatment.
Causes of Bad Breath (Halitosis)
The accumulation of bad breath bacteria most often comes from a lack of a complete oral care routine resulting in a buildup of plaque bacteria around the gum line and back of tongue. Other causes of bad breath include dietary choices, a buildup of bacteria while sleeping, stress, and dehydration.
Halitosis has many causes, including the following:
- Tobacco use. If you smoke, quit. Your bad breath may be due to other causes, too, but tobacco use is a guarantee of bad breath. If you are ready to quit, ask your doctor or dentist for advice and support.
- What you eat, or don't eat. Certain foods, such as garlic, contribute to bad breath, but only temporarily. Once they are absorbed into the bloodstream, the smell is expelled through the breath, but the odors remain until the body processes the food, so there’s no quick fix.
- Dry mouth. If your mouth is extremely dry, there is not enough saliva to wash away excess food particles and bacteria, which can cause an unpleasant smell if they build up on the teeth.
On rare occasions, bad breath can be a sign of a more serious medical condition so it’s important not to ignore the problem and to see a dental professional if the problem persists. By following a proper oral care routine, you can help improve your bad breath.