The Causes of Bad Breath and How to Prevent It

Man with bad breath

Everyone can have bad breath at one point — when you wake up in the morning, after eating garlicky food, or after drinking coffee. These situations are common and may cause temporary bad breath, but the condition can be removed easily through brushing or gargling mouthwash.

However, some causes of bad breath may be more permanent. Here are ways to address them.

Why do people get bad breath?

Apart from the causes mentioned above, tbkdental.co.nz cites the following conditions as possible causes:

Gum Disease (Periodontal Disease)

Poor oral hygiene may lead to gum disease. Gums with periodontal disease tend to become red, tender and swollen, allowing colonies of odour-causing bacteria and food debris to stick to the gums and cause stale breath.

Dry Mouth (Xerostomia) and Dehydration

Salivary gland problems, mouth breathing, and the side effects of some medications often cause dry mouth. It is due to the body not getting the amount of water or moisture it needs, causing dehydration. When people are dehydrated or suffering from dry mouth, they do not have enough saliva to keep odour-causing bacteria at bay. As bacteria builds up, the mouth releases a bad odour.

Dieting, Missing Meals, and Hunger

Dieting, missing meals, and hunger reduce the amount of saliva. Like with dry mouth, this promotes bacterial growth. As these three actions burn fat, chemicals called ketones are released in the breath. These ketones have a distinct smell that is often described as “sickeningly sweet.”

How can people prevent bad breath?

Proper oral hygiene is the best option to avoid bad breath. Recommendations for self-care include:

  • brushing teeth two times a day
  • flossing and tongue scraping once a day
  • gargling with the right mouthwash
  • chewing sugar-free gum
  • visiting dentists regularly

TBK Dental adds stopping smoking and drinking water frequently. There are also dental treatments that can treat bad breath. Since dieting, missing meals, and hunger cause bad breath too, eating a proper and balanced meal will prevent this, as well.

With the many causes of bad breath, only one thing is clear: taking care of your body and mouth prevents this embarrassing condition.

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About the Author

Carlos James
Carlos is contributing writer to an lifestyle online magazine. He focuses mainly on all the latest about the entertainment industry.