What Causes Bad Breath?

What Causes Bad Breath?
Posted on 04/15/2016
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Although almost no one likes to admit it, almost everyone experiences about of bad breath once in awhile. It is usually nothing to worry about, in most cases, but there are several simple things you can do to promote good oral health and keep halitosis at bay. Here are four primary causes and how to stop them.

1. Poor Oral Hygiene

One of the biggest reasons people experience unpleasant breath is due to poor oral hygiene habits. The less you brush and floss, the more food particles get stuck in teeth and gums. These food particles then break down and become plaque, which forms a layer of film over teeth and gums. If this isn’t brushed away, it will begin to foster the growth of odor-causing bacteria.

2. Food

Some foods tend to cause bad breath more than others, even well after you’ve eaten them. The main culprits are garlic, onions, and certain spices. While leftover food particles leftover in your mouth will give off an odor, often with these specific foods, the bad breath smell can linger even after brushing and flossing thoroughly.  What happens is that once ingested, these foods enter your bloodstream and continue to cause an unpleasant odor. You should still brush and floss after eating to mitigate the bad smell, but also just be conscious of when you eat these food and if may be better to avoid eating them in that moment.

3. Smoking

Tobacco products are notorious causers of all kinds of health problems, including nasty breath. They’re also responsible for serious conditions like gum disease and oral cancer, which do not make for a healthy oral environment either and further promote the development of bad breath. Cigarettes, cigars, and chewing tobacco are all products to avoid.

4. Dry Mouth

Lastly, you may experience bad breath if your mouth is constantly dry. Saliva helps to clean residual particles out of the mouth. When there’s an absence of saliva, those particles stay put and contribute to unpleasant breath. If you fall asleep with your mouth open, for example, you may notice dryness the next day in the form of “morning breath.” 

These are just some of the main drivers of halitosis. If you are concerned about your oral health, always schedule an appointment with Dr. Christian Johnson here in Waldorf, MD.