Bad breath is not as uncommon as you think! In fact, many people around the world suffer from halitosis. There are various causes as well as different levels of bad breath, and popping mints and chewing gums will not mask or eliminate all bad breath situations.
While most cases of halitosis are caused by improper dental hygiene, many are often caused by the foods we eat as well as conditions that may be developing – medically.
If you have eaten foods accented with garlic, onions or fish, eating mints and/or minty gums could help with masking the smell of those foods but only after brushing your teeth and tongue thoroughly. If you have poor dental hygiene, which means your mouth is housing excess bacteria, mints and gums will only give you a false sense of security while heightening the stench of your breath. In this case, you need to visit your dentist speedily, and follow up with proper, consistent brushing and flossing every day – especially right before bedtime. If your dentist and good dental hygiene cannot get rid of your bad breath, then your next stop is to your medical doctor.
When we do not brush and floss our teeth after each meal, pieces of food that get stuck in our teeth and sometimes gums, will give off a foul smell and over time, lead to an even more serious problem – gum disease.
Additional Causes of Bad Breath
Saliva is your mouth’s natural cleanser, so when your mouth is dry, dead cells can build up, which is what causes morning breath. This is an even bigger problem if you sleep with your mouth open. Smoking and certain medications can also cause dry mouth. In more extreme cases, you could have a problem with your salivary glands that leaves your mouth unusually dry.
Sometimes underlying health conditions can cause bad breath. Lung infections, cancers, kidney or liver failure, diabetes, and gastro-esophageal reflux disease (GERD), for example, are all associated with halitosis.
Respiratory, Mouth, Throat, and Nose Conditions
These conditions are also often associated with bad breath. For example, discharge from a sinus infection is known to cause bad breath. If you have an upper respiratory infection such as bronchitis, the sputum coughed up can also cause halitosis.
Tobacco Products – Smoking
Tobacco products can dry your mouth and result in bad breath. People who use tobacco are also at greater risk of developing gum disease, poor general oral health, and oral cancers.
Starvation or intense dieting can result in bad breath due to ketoacidosis, which is a breakdown of chemicals that occurs during fasting.
If you have not flossed your teeth for two days, go ahead and floss it now, then smell the floss. Horrible, isn’t it? Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth and tongue. So floss and rinse, then brush your teeth and rinse, then place fresh toothpaste on your toothbrush and brush your tongue and the roof of your mouth and rinse, then gargle and swish with alcohol free mouthwash – everyday – especially at nights right before bedtime.