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What are the Causes of Bad Breath?

Causes of Bad Breath

The problem of bad breath, which is also known as oral malodor or halitosis, is very common in adults. Bad breath can be embarrassing for people in social settings. Bad breath can be caused due to some types of food that you eat, any unhealthy eating or drinking habit, poor oral hygiene, or any medical or dental issue. Here we are discussing some of the causes of bad breath so that after knowing them, you can avoid those things and have fresh breath.

Poor Oral Hygiene

One of the most general causes of bad breath is poor oral hygiene. You should maintain your oral hygiene by cleaning your mouth regularly with brushing and flossing. If you don’t clean your mouth regularly, the food particles can create a sticky buildup of bacteria called plaque on your dental surfaces and interdental spaces. The surface of your tongue and tonsils that are uneven can also trap some food particles and bacteria. The bacteria and food particles will produce a bad odour in the mouth. Poor oral health also causes dental issues like cavities and unhealthy gums, which are also related to bad breath.

Dry Mouth

Saliva in the mouth helps to remove the food particles and bacteria that cause bad breath. A condition called xerostomia can be caused when the production of saliva reduces or stops in the mouth. Xerostomia will eventually cause bad breath. This happens naturally when people are asleep. Thus, people find their breath stinky when they wake up. The condition can get worse if you have the habit of sleeping with your mouth open. But if you are facing dryness in the mouth the whole day, then consider visiting a dentist.

Consumption of Certain Foods

Consuming pungent foods like onion, garlic, certain vegetables and some spices can cause bad breath. After the digestion of food, the odour causing food particles to enter the bloodstream and later are carried to the lungs. Food particles in the lungs affect the odour of the breath each time a person exhales. Garlic and onion are the member of Alium family, which are contained with high concentrations of stinky sulfur compounds. When they are crushed, they create a substance called allicin. The allicin is responsible for the strong aroma of garlic and also the odour in your breath.

Continuous Consumption of Coffee and Alcohol

Coffee and alcohol are among the drinks that can lead to the bad odour of your breath. You may have noticed it sometimes that after having a strong cup of coffee in the morning, you feel like you have bad breath. Coffee causes bad breath due to its intense flavour and its effect on saliva. Caffeine in coffee reduces the saliva in the mouth, which is the cause of the bad odour.

Alcohol is also a contributor to developing bad breath in your mouth. The more you drink, the more you will experience it. Consuming an excess amount of alcohol reduces saliva production, which paves the way for bad breath.

High-Sugar Diets

A diet that includes a lot of sugar can also be a major cause of bad breath. The diet with high levels of sugar leads to bad breath and also be the culprit for halitosis because of the sugar in the diet interacts with the bacteria already existing in the mouth. The bacteria that exist currently in the mouth will feed on sugar and would turn the sweet treats into sour like smell. Better would be to keep your mouth healthy with proper oral care and consuming foods with less sugar.

Diet with High-Proteins or Low-Carbs

Sometimes, high-protein food can be difficult for your body to digest. And when the high-protein food is not digested properly, it will release sulfurous gases. Your breath would have a bad odour due to sulfur content in them. Consider having a healthier diet that includes more vegetables and herbs.

Carbohydrates are vital for the body as they serve important functions in the body. A diet with low carbohydrates can lead to bad breath. When your body is not getting enough carbohydrates because of an extreme diet, it will lead to some changes in metabolism, which can be the cause of bad breath.

Improper Digestive System

An improper digestive system can cause bad breath. Issues like poor digestion, constipation, or bowel disorders cause a foul odour in the breath. If a person faces acid reflux frequently, it will cause bad breath, as the odours from the food can make their way back up to the esophagus or the mouth easily.

Tobacco Consumption

Consuming tobacco products like cigarettes, cigars, or pipes will cause bad breath. Tobacco consumption can also lead to some serious oral health issues like oral cancer. Tobacco consumption can damage the gum tissue and also cause gum disease. Using tobacco products leaves a foul odour in the mouth because of the combination created between nicotine and your saliva. Even if you have mints to get rid of the stink, the saliva compound will remain in your mouth for long. 

Medical Conditions and Prescriptions

Some medical conditions like respiratory infections, gum diseases, inflammation of the sinuses, lungs and throats can also be the cause of bad breath. Bad breath will be caused, especially if the mucus is running between the nose and mouth area. Diabetes, liver disease, and kidney disease can also be the reason behind bad breath.

Many prescribed medicines come with the side effect of dry mouth. Saliva reduction in the mouth is a vital factor in increasing bad odour. If your mouth stays dry for a longer period of time, it will cause discomfort and bad breath.

These are the causes that would lead to bad breath. To maintain your oral and overall health, have a healthy diet, don’t consume food and drink more than necessity. Maintain your oral health, so you don’t have to face any dental issue.


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