5 Leading Causes of Bad Breath

5 Leading Causes of Bad Breath
Posted on 09/10/2019
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Everyone has bad breath at one time or another, but if your breath is chronically smelly, you may have underlying causes. If you want to improve your breath, but you aren't sure what causes the bad breath, check out these five leading causes of bad breath.

1. Food

The most likely reason you have bad breath is simply that you need to brush your teeth. When food particles are in your mouth, bacteria gets to work breaking it down, which can result in an unpleasant smell.

Even if you do brush your teeth after eating, certain foods can actually get into the bloodstream to cause bad breath long after the food has been digested. These foods include onions and garlic. The easiest solution to food-related bad breath is to keep your mouth clean and avoid foods that give you bad breath, if necessary.

2. Tobacco

Tobacco itself smells. So if you just smoked a cigarette or used another tobacco product, your breath can often smell like an ashtray. Smoking also increases the risk of dry mouth because it reduces blood flow. Dry mouth often presents with bad breath because food particles stay stuck in the mouth.

Tobacco also increases the risk of periodontal disease, which can also cause bad breath due to gum infections. The increased risk of decay from periodontal disease can also create cavities that may expel odors. The best way to prevent bad breath from tobacco is to stop smoking.

3. Coffee

The smell of fresh coffee may be nice, but once it's on your breath, it can become bad breath. The bad breath is largely from the natural smells and chemicals in the coffee. Tea may be a little better, but both coffee and tea that contain caffeine may increase the risk of dry mouth.

One way to reduce coffee breath is to cut back on the creamer and sugar. These can make your breath worse by attracting bacteria. You can also reduce how much coffee you drink, and make sure to brush your teeth after drinking coffee.

4. Medications

Medications may also affect your breath. Certain medications have chemicals that can alter your breath once they get inside your bloodstream. If your breath makes living your life hard, talk with your doctor about alternative medications.

Mediations also often cause dry mouth. Again, you may be able to ask your doctor about a different medication, but so many medications have dry mouth as a side effect. So you may have to learn how to deal with dry mouth. Ideally, you want to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water, and consider using dry mouth oral products, such as special rinses.

5. Oral Infection

An abscess develops once the tooth's pulp has exposure to decay and bacteria. In some cases, you may have little to no side effects, but most of the time, an infection has pain, inflammation, and bad breath. The bad breath can worsen for a moment if the abscess bursts, releasing pus into your mouth.

This pus can also create a sour, metallic taste in the mouth. Your best treatment for bad breath from an oral infection is to get root canal therapy or extract the toot to eliminate the infection. Once it's gone, your breath should be fine again.

Bad breath is embarrassing and can make you not want to talk with anyone. While some causes of bad breath have complicated solutions, such as switching to a new medicine, others are easy. Simply boost your oral care routine to ensure your teeth stay clean. If you smoke, stop smoking, and cut back on foods and beverages that may promote bad breath.

For more information or to find treatments for bad breath, contact us at Treasured Smiles Adult & Cosmetic Dentistry today.