4 Common Culprits of Bad Breath (Halitosis)

4 Common Culprits of Bad Breath (Halitosis)
Posted on 04/06/2022
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At least 30 percent of the population battles with bad breath, a condition medically called halitosis. Halitosis can be embarrassing and may even cause social anxiety and bullying among children and teens. It can happen at any time and is hard to assess unless a third party points it out. 

Many stores offer mints, mouthwashes, and other products to fight bad breath. Although these products offer a temporary remedy, they do not address the root cause. This article will explain four reasons for bad breaths and practical lifestyle habits that can prevent halitosis.

1. Dry Mouth 

Xerostomia or dry mouth occurs when your mouth cannot produce enough saliva to cleanse itself of food particles or debris. If you breathe with your mouth instead of the nose, especially at night, or have a salivary gland disorder, you will often wake up with a dry mouth.

The dryness of the mouth results in bad breath. You can keep your body hydrated and use humidifiers to prevent dry mouth. Additionally, consult a dental healthcare provider who may prescribe artificial saliva.

2. Poor Oral Health Care

Regular brushing, cleaning, and flossing the teeth and tongue can help reduce and neutralize oral bacteria that cause food particles remaining in the mouth to rot, resulting in a foul smell. Brushing the tongue can also help eliminate bacteria that produce odors.

Poor oral health care can also lead to plaque buildup in the mouth. When plaque hardens, it holds bacteria that can irritate the gums, causing a gum disease if not brushed away. Gingivitis is a mild form of gum disease that can advance to periodontitis if not treated. 

Dentures and braces that don't fit well and are not cleaned regularly can also harbor odor-causing bacteria and food remains. Use these techniques for your oral hygiene to avoid bad breath:

  • Ensure your toothbrush is soft and can reach all mouth areas.
  • Replace a toothbrush after three months to maintain functional bristles.
  • Use short strokes to clean the outside, inside, and top of the mouth.
  • Brush twice a day and preferably after meals.

3. Medications

When broken down by the body, some medication releases chemicals carried onto your breath. Certain medications such as paraldehyde have bad breath as a side effect. When using this medication, you can use mints to get rid of the bad breath. Other medicines used for allergies cause dry mouth that triggers terrible breath. Consumption of large doses of vitamin supplements may also cause bad breath.

4. Diet

Everything that goes through your mouth is directly linked to your oral health and has the potential to affect your breath. When your bloodstream absorbs digested food in your body, it goes to your lungs, and until they leave the body, may affect our breathing. 

Food with a strong odor, such as acidic beverages like coffee, garlic, onions, species, and some cheeses, is a common cause of bad breath. These foods are also commonly attributed to gastrointestinal belching that may exhale bad breath.

Low carbohydrate diets cause the body to burn fats. The result of fat burning is the release of energy that causes the production of "ketone breath," which is a fruity acetone-like odor.

Bad breath can cause worry, especially if it affects your child's confidence. Luckily, you don't have to deal with it on your own. Our friendly dentists are ready to examine the situation, prescribe medications, and provide proven tips to fix the issue. Our team enjoys working with children and teenagers to restore their smiles. If your child needs a dental checkup in Frankfort and the surrounding areas, contact us to book an appointment.