What Causes Bad Breath?

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Bad breath is caused by the millions of bacteria living in your mouth, which is an ideal environment for them to breed and feed upon food debris. If you take good care of your oral health, the level of bacteria in your mouth is easily controllable but if for any reason your oral health is compromised, bad breath may ensue.

The most common cause of bad breath is a lax oral hygiene regime. If you aren't brushing and flossing your teeth enough, food debris left in your mouth decays and is responsible for the odour associated with bad breath. Whilst everyone experiences some sort of bad breath, like in the mornings, a lack of oral hygiene can often result in persistent bad breath.

Bad breath can also be caused by several medical problems. Saliva plays an important role in keeping your mouth clean by periodically washing out your mouth. If, for some reason, your salivary glands are damaged, the bad smells can accumulate and produce bad breath. Similarly, gum infections, plaque problems and other conditions of the mouth can all produce unpleasant odours which emanate from the mouth.

In some cases bad breath can be caused by ingesting certain substances. If you consume a high amount of garlic, coffee or cigarette smoke then you may find you experience the symptoms of temporary bad breath.

Luckily, bad breath caused by a lack of oral hygiene is highly treatable. Simply make sure you brush and floss your teeth at least twice a day and pay regular visits to your dentist so they can spot any potential problems early on. Also, dont forget to clean your tongue to remove bacteria. Maintaining a healthy diet and cutting down on sugary snacks and drinks is also commonly advised.

For bad breath caused by underlying medical conditions, the treatment depends mainly on the medical problem itself. If you are experiencing salivary gland problems, then it is commonly recommended you drink plenty of water which will help promote the production of saliva from your glands.

Read more in the Dental Treatment Information Guide »