Halitosis: 5 Causes of Bad Breath & Treatment Options

woman covering her mouth because of bad breath

Are you struggling with bad breath? That foul odor, also called halitosis, could be caused by a number of different things. While you may find some relief from minty mouthwash or chewing gum, it’s important to know and address the actual cause of your halitosis so you can get to the root of the problem. Here are some of the most common causes of bad breath as well as treatment options:

1. Certain Foods 

If you’ve ever eaten a dish with lots of garlic or onion, then surely you know how that scent can linger on your mouth. Other common food culprits include curry, coffee, certain spices, and specific cheeses. The interesting thing is that the smell from the food doesn’t just nestle in your mouth. The foods can actually enter your bloodstream after you eat them and then eventually go to your lungs, which means every time you breathe you’ll be faced with that potent scent.

2. Bad Oral Hygiene

When you brush and floss regularly, you’re getting rid of all those little food particles around your mouth so they aren’t able to stay and form into plaque. So when you don’t take care of your dental hygiene, all of that bad bacteria is left to create a bad smell. If your oral health is particularly in need of attention, you may even have pockets between your gums and teeth where more odor-causing bacteria can hide. And let’s not forget that your tongue can hold onto this foul-smelling bacteria too when it’s not cleaned properly!

3. Dry Mouth

Saliva helps you out by rinsing and cleansing your mouth, essentially washing away particles that may lead to bad breath. If you don’t have a sufficient amount of saliva and instead have a dry mouth, then you could have a case of halitosis on your hands.

4. Certain Medications

Unfortunately, there are some medications out there that have halitosis as a side effect. While we don’t recommend you just stop taking them so you can have fresh breath again, it is something to discuss with your doctor.

5. Certain Health Conditions

A variety of health conditions could cause bad breath, including sinus infections, throat infections, acid reflux, tonsilitis, and diabetes. A common saying is that your oral health is a window to your overall health, and bad breath is just one way this connection appears.

How to Treat Halitosis

Since there’s such a wide range of causes of halitosis, the best way to treat the condition is to speak with a dental professional. They’ll be able to help you figure out what exactly is behind your case of bad breath and give you their treatment recommendations. This could be instructing you on proper brushing technique, telling you to drink more water, consulting your physician on alternative medications, or something else entirely.

Want to speak to a dental professional about your halitosis? Atlantic Dental Partners is here for you! We don’t want bad breath to get in the way of you living your best life, and we can help you find a solution. Contact us today to set up a consultation!



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