What causes Bad Breath? How to prevent it?

Bad breath is also called halitosis and is a persistent, unpleasant odour in exhaled breath. Bad breath can be caused due to several reasons, some of which can be serious. In this article, we’ll talk about 

What causes bad breath and how we can prevent it. 

Causes of bad breath and what to do about it 

  1. Poor oral hygiene: The primary cause of bad breath are bacteria that live in your mouth and break down food, protein, and even skin cells, leading to the production and release of smelly, volatile sulphur compounds (VSCs). IF you don’t clean your teeth, tongue, and mouth regularly and thoroughly, food particles can remain in your mouth. These cause bacteria (also called plaque) to build up, causing a sticky film on your teeth. Poor oral hygiene can also cause other oral health conditions, such as cavities and gum disease, which also cause bad breath. 
    • What to do about it: You can and should keep a consistent and thorough oral care routine. You should brush and floss at least twice a day for at least two to three minutes each, and should also clean your tongue with a tongue cleaner. Using a fluoridated toothpaste and mouthwash can also help prevent bad breath. You should also visit your dentist for a professional cleaning at least once every six months. 
  1. Eating onions, garlic, and other foods: After eating onions, garlic, and certain vegetables and spices, odour-causing food particles enter the bloodstream and are carried to the lungs, where they affect the odour of your breath each time you exhale.  
    • What to do about it: You should brush and floss right away after eating garlic or onions. However, garlic can stay in your system for up to two days, so bad breath due to garlic may be difficult to get rid of.  
  1. Drinking coffee: Coffee can be a cause of bad breath due to its intense flavor, as well as its effect on saliva production. After drinking coffee, caffeine leads to a decrease in saliva production. Less saliva results in an increase in odour-causing bacteria. 
    • What to do about it: Cut down on your coffee consumption and avoid drinking coffee before any social visit. You can also ensure that you brush and floss immediately after drinking coffee. 
  1. Alcohol consumption: The more alcohol you drink, the more you may experience bad breath. This is because alcohol also causes a decrease in saliva production, leading to an increase in odor-causing bacteria and bad breath. 
    • What to do about it: Cut down on your alcohol consumption on a daily basis. This will be good for your entire body system as well. If you drink socially, carry a small bottle of mouthwash to use after consuming your alcoholic drink. 
  1. High sugar, High-protein or low-carb diets: If your diet is high in sugar or protein, it can cause bad breath, due to how sugars and protein interact with the bacteria within your mouth. High-protein foods are sometimes difficult for your body to digest, and tend to release sulfurous gases when they don’t metabolize. Also, when your body does not get enough carbs, it can cause changes in your body’s metabolism, which can lead to bad breath. 
    • What to do about it: Ensure that you eat a sufficient amount of carbs and a more balanced and nutritious diet, which includes more vegetables and herbs. 
  1. Smoking: All tobacco products, whether it be chewing tobacco, a pipe, cigars, or cigarettes, cause bad breath, and also lead to much more serious oral health issues. They can damage the gum tissue and lead to gum disease. 
    • What to do about it: You should stop using all tobacco products immediately! 
  1. Digestive issues: Poor digestion, constipation, or bowel disorders can cause bad breath. Also, if you experience acid reflux, the odors from recently-consumed foods make their way back up the esophagus (food pipe) and out of the mouth, causing bad breath. 
    • What to do about it: You should visit your physician who will treat your underlying digestive condition. 
  1. Dry mouth: Saliva helps to keep your mouth clean by removing food particles, which could cause bad breath. When the production of saliva decreases or stops, a condition called xerostomia, bad breath is likely to occur. This happens naturally while you sleep, which is why you may have a bit of bad breath immediately after waking up.  
    • What to do about it: If you have dry mouth throughout the day, you should visit your physician for treatment as to the underlying cause. 
  1. Certain prescription medications: Hundreds of prescription medications result in dry mouth. When your mouth is dry, it is the perfect environment for odor-causing bacteria to thrive inside your mouth. This can cause discomfort and lead to bad breath. Also, some medications, when broken down in the body, release chemicals that can be carried through your bloodstream to your breath. 
    • What to do about it: Try to avoid taking medications that cause bad breath. If you absolutely cannot avoid taking a particular medication that can cause bad breath, do brush and floss regularly and use a mouth freshener or mouthwash. 
  1. Sinusitis and Chronic Respiratory Infections: Infections in the sinuses, airways, or lungs can cause bad breath. This is due to the presence of nasal secretions that can drain into the mouth. In sinus infections, a chronic postnasal drip can occur, which could lead to bad breath. Bad breath can also be caused by coughing up sputum from lung infections.
    • What to do about it: If you have bad breath due to acute or chronic sinusitis or respiratory infections, do not hesitate to consult with your dentist and your respiratory specialist for treatment of these infections at the earliest, before they get to be serious.
  1. Other systemic causes: Bad breath can be a warning sign that other systemic illnesses are present. Some of these can be tonsil infections; diabetes; liver and kidney diseases, as well as certain blood disorders. 
    • What to do about it: If you have bad breath, do get a thorough check-up done, including the necessary blood work, after consulting with your dentist and your physician.

If you have bad breath, Vistadent, the Orthodontic Speciality Clinic, is the right place to go to. We will investigate and ascertain the cause of your bad breath and will recommend the right treatment for you. We will also clean your teeth thoroughly and will work with you to address the cause, and reduce the incidence of bad breath if any. 

So, if you have bad breath even after brushing, or any other dental problems, do not hesitate to visit Vistadent, and you will come away completely satisfied with the treatment that is tailor-made just for you! 

For more information about treatment for Halitosis or any other dental problems, as well as other dental procedures, contact Vistadent, the Orthodontic Speciality Clinic, at 040-23388111 or +91 9866572482 or at info@vistadent.net or visit our website.

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