What Causes Bad Breath

Most people has bad breath at some point, especially after a full night's sleep or a long, dehydrating plane flight. However, about 25% of people worldwide are suffering from chronic bad breath

Bad breath (Halitosis) is caused by a variety of factors such as the food we eat and other unhealthy habits. However, halitosis may also be a sign of other health problems too. In most cases, bad breath starts in the mouth and causes include;

·       Food. Food is the primary source of odors that come from the mouth. Certain foods with strong odors such as garlic, onions and some dairy products especially cheese and milk can leave a lingering smell for hours. Beverages such as coffee and alcohol often leaves the mouth dry, a condition that 'anaerobic' (means 'without air') bacteria thrives in. Without the oxygen-rich saliva to wash them away, they multiply at a much higher rate and may wreak havoc on your oral health.

·       Tobacco. Smoking or chewing on tobacco-based products leaves you more than just bad breath, It may reduce your ability to taste food, stain teeth and increases the risk of gum disease too. Inhaling hot tobacco gases will dry out the tongues and gums, leaving a chemical-filled environment where anaerobic bacteria can run amok.

·       Dry Mouth. Saliva moistens and cleanses your mouth from leftover food particles. When your body does not produce enough saliva, bad bacteria will thrive and cause halitosis. When you sleep at night, your mouth nearly stops the production of saliva, leading to 'morning breath' when you wake up and it worsens if you sleep with your mouth open. Dry mouth (or Xerostomia) may also be caused by saliva gland problems or connective tissue disorder (Sjogren's syndrome) among other things.

·       Medication. Certain medication used to treat allergies and diuretics may indirectly lead to dry mouth, another cause of halitosis. Others gets broken down in your body to release chemicals which may be carried on your breath.

·       Poor Dental Hygiene. If you don't brush or floss regularly, food particles may be stuck between your teeth, on your tongues and gums. A sticky, colorless film of bacteria called 'plague' is then formed on your teeth. If not brushed off, plague may irritate your gums and form 'pockets' between your teeth and gums (periodontitis).

·       Dentures and Braces. For those wearing appliances such as dentures or braces, make sure they are cleaned regularly. Food particles left stuck in these appliances can rot and causes bad breath. Dentures that don't fit properly may also be filled with leftover food and harbor the odor-causing bacteria.

·       Health Problems. Respiratory infections such as pneumonia and bronchitis are known to cause halitosis too. Other illnesses include diabetes, tonsillitis. chronic sinus infection, acid reflux, post-nasal drip and other liver and kidney problems.


Freshen Up

Some people find home remedies such as fresh mints and mouthwash are enough to mask their foul breath, albeit temporarily but the most effective way to sort out halitosis is to exercise good dental care.

Set a standard of brushing your teeth twice a day and floss regularly, especially after meals. You may also use a tongue scraper to help clear out debris and bacteria that are stuck onto your tongue but if this problem doesn't go away, you should consult your dentist.

At Smilefocus, bad breath is something that we deal with frequently, so don't be shy to seek help if your bad breath persist, as it can also be a sign of other serious problems. We'll help identify the cause of your bad breath and develop a treatment plan for you. Call us at 6834 0877 or book your dental appointment here.

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