Gum, mouthwash, and mints. We’ve all tried a combination of those remedies and other creative and clutch ways to hide and try to eliminate bad breath especially while at work or out and about. One in four individuals has reported bad breath, and it’s estimated that over 60 million individuals in the U.S. suffer from chronic halitosis. So while it’s not a remedy, knowing that you’re not the only one out there may ease your worries.
A variety of factors cause bad breath. Let’s take a look at some of the internal and external causes of chronic bad breath to help pinpoint what may be the root cause.
There are two main factors when it comes to bad breath — external and internal factors. External factors include diet and other habits such as smoking – things that are outside of your body that are consumed. Internal factors are those such as dental hygiene and possibly even systemic diseases. While there are more than five causes, in this post we will highlight some of the most common causes of bad breath, also known as halitosis.
1. Poor oral hygiene
Sometimes all it takes is a few extra brushes and flosses daily combined with mouthwash. If you feel that you’re prone to bad breath, just add some more time with your toothbrush to your routine and carry a travel toothbrush, toothpaste and mouthwash with you. Outside of increased brushing and flossing, periodontal disease, which is gum disease, often due to poor hygiene can lead to bad breath as well. This is a good reminder to make sure you have at least two regularly scheduled dental cleanings each year to keep your oral hygiene (including your breath) in tip-top shape.
2. Your diet
Certain foods and drinks can very much alter the state of your breath. The more fragrant and potent the food is, the greater the chance it may cause bad breath. Garlic, onions and certain spices, which are delicious and good for you, do have the side effect of potentially making your breath not so appetizing. The odor-causing particles enter your bloodstream, and then head towards your lungs, so when you exhale, you guessed it, the food you consumed will tamper with your breath. Coffee can be another culprit, not only due to the rich flavor, but also because the caffeine can often dry out your mouth by decreasing saliva production, and thus grounds for smelly bacteria to increase in prevalence. Alcohol has a similar effect to coffee in that it reduces saliva production, and less salvia equates to more opportunity for bacteria that leads to bad breath.
Diets high in sugar can also affect your breath. As bacteria feed on sugars, it can cause an increase in bacteria production, hence poor smelling breath. High-protein or low-carb diets can also take the blame. Your body can have difficulty breaking down proteins, so when protein is not digested sulfurous gases can be released, yet again lending itself to bad breath.
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that smoking does not do wonders for your breath or any aspect of your health for that matter. Any tobacco-based product will cause your mouth to smell, not to mention any items that you smoke in or near. Plus, aside from causing bad breath, tobacco can lead to serious health problems such as cancer, heart disease, strokes, lung disease, and the list goes on.
4. Digestive issues
Just like mom said, better out than in. Constipation, bowel issues, and poor digestion will often cause acid reflux which then results in odors from the food and drink you consume to make their way back out up top. That’s certainly not pleasant for you or anyone else. And constant and severe acid reflux can lead to more than bad breath; it can lead to esophagitis, ulcers, strictures, aspiration pneumonia, and Barrett’s esophagus. It even puts you at an increased risk for esophageal cancers. If you feel that you are suffering from consistent GI issues, consulting a gastroenterologist would be a wise decision.
5. Other medical causes
More often than not, bad breath is caused by odor-causing bacteria that can often be minimized, but sometimes halitosis can be a result of more serious diseases or illnesses. Respiratory infections, post-nasal drip, blood disorders, and even kidney disease can come with the symptom of bad breath.
Get Treatment for Bad Breath in Coral Gables, FL
Thank you for reading our blog on 5 common causes of bad breath. If you think oral hygiene may be the root cause of your bad breath, then schedule an appointment today with a top dentist near you in Coral Gables. South Gables Dental is accepting new patients and is ready to help give you the healthy smile and confidence you deserve.