4 Common Causes of Bad Breath

Dentist Blog

Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is one of the most common oral health problems. Seeing your dentist is the first step to find out what is causing your bad breath so you can get it treated. One of the following four common causes likely is to blame.

1. Diet

The foods you eat and the beverages you drink can affect the way your breath smells. Coffee, garlic, raw onions and other strong-smelling foods and drinks can leave a lingering smell on your breath, which can persist even after you clean your teeth.

Sugar is another dietary substance that can affect the way your breath smells. The bacteria that live in your mouth feed on sugar, which means that eating a lot of sweet foods can increase the growth of bacteria. The bacteria produce acids that can change the way your breath smells. Limiting your consumption of sugar and keeping your mouth clean can help to reduce halitosis.

2. Mouth Dryness

Bad breath is more common in people who experience dry mouth. This condition can arise as the result of dehydration, medication, or certain medical conditions. Boost your saliva production by drinking plenty of water throughout the day and chewing sugar-free gum after meals. If you still have dry mouth, ask your dentist for advice. They can prescribe a mouth rinse or medication that helps you produce more saliva to fight the growth of bacteria.

3. Gingivitis

Bad breath is one of the most obvious symptoms of the early stages of gum disease. If you notice that your breath smells bad, take a close look at your gums. You might notice that they are red, swollen or more tender than usual, in which case you need to see your dentist and find out whether you have gum disease or gingivitis. Also look out for your gums bleeding when you brush or floss your teeth, which is another tell-tale sign of gum disease.

4. GERD

Gastro-oesophageal reflux disease, commonly known as GERD, is another common cause of bad breath. This condition involves acid spilling out of the stomach and up into the gullet and throat. The smell of the acid, and the food in the stomach, causes bad breath. If you have other symptoms of GERD, such as heartburn or burning in your throat, see your doctor, who can prescribe medications to keep the condition under control.

For more information, contact a local dentist

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5 April 2021

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