young man checking for bad breath

The Bad Breath Breakdown: Causes, Cures, and Prevention

3 causes of Bad Breath

Bad breath is fairly common. Studies show that at least 50% of adults have suffered from bad breath or halitosis at some point in their life. While most causes are harmless, chronic bad breath can be a sign of something more serious. Here are the most common causes of bad breath:

  1. General Oral Health: Bad breath is primarily caused by poor oral hygiene, as neglecting regular teeth and mouth cleaning allows food particles to linger and bacterial plaque to form. The tongue’s uneven surface and tonsils can trap these particles and bacteria, leading to foul breath. To combat this and other related oral health issues, maintain a consistent oral care routine that includes brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash.
  2. Eating and Drinking Habits: Certain foods like onions, garlic, and spices introduce odor-causing particles into your bloodstream, affecting breath odor. Coffee reduces saliva production, allowing odor-causing bacteria to thrive and food particles to break down. Alcohol consumption, especially in excess, also reduces saliva, enabling bacteria to linger. High-sugar diets can cause plaque buildup, while high-protein or low-carb diets may alter metabolism and release sulfurous gases, causing bad breath. A balanced, nutritious diet with more vegetables and herbs can help prevent these issues.
  3. Smoking and Tobacco: Tobacco products, including cigarettes, chewing tobacco, and pipes, not only result in bad breath but also contribute to severe oral health problems. In addition to leaving your mouth with the unpleasant odor of tobacco, they harm gum tissue and promote the development of gum disease.

3 Ways to Prevent and Cure Bad Breath

Proper oral hygiene, including brushing, flossing, and using mouthwash twice daily, is essential to prevent bad breath caused by bacterial buildup. Regular dental checkups every six months help maintain oral health and address any underlying issues. Being mindful of dietary choices and using tools like tongue scrapers can further enhance oral freshness.

  1. Establish an Oral Hygiene Routine: Ensure you are brushing at least twice a day, and clean daily with floss. Using a tongue scraper or your toothbrush to brush the tongue during your daily routine can also help. If you wear removable dentures, make sure you remove them at night and clean thoroughly. Use mouthwash in between cleanings to help keep your mouth fresh and clean. 
  2. Keep Saliva Flowing: Cutting bad habits like smoking and excessive drinking will also help to prevent dry mouth. Drinking lots of water and maintaining a healthy diet is a great way to combat bad breath. Between meals, try munching on crispy vegetables such as carrots, apples, or celery to increase saliva production and naturally remove bacteria. 
  3. Schedule a Dentist Appointment: If you are not sure what is causing constant bad breath, schedule an appointment with your dentist to help determine the problem and diagnose any underlying conditions.

Your Community Dental is dedicated to excellent oral health care. Our friendly team is here to help with any of your dental questions! Contact us today or schedule an appointment.