Causes of bad breath
- Food. What you eat affects the air you exhale, like garlic or onions. If you don't brush and floss daily, particles of food can remain in the mouth, collecting bacteria, which can cause bad breath. Dieters may develop unpleasant breath from infrequent eating.
- Gum disease. Persistent bad breath or a bad taste in the mouth can also be one of the warning signs of gum disease; which is caused by plaque.
- Dry mouth. This occurs when the flow of saliva decreases and can be caused by various medications, salivary gland problems or continuously breathing through the mouth. Without enough saliva, food particles are not cleaned away. If you suffer from dry mouth, your dentist may prescribe anartificial saliva, or suggest using sugarless candy or increase your fluid intake.
- Smoking and tobacco. In addition to staining teeth and being bad for overall health, tobacco can add to bad breath. Tobacco reduces your ability to taste foods and irritates gum tissues. Tobacco users are more likely to suffer from gum disease and are at greater risk for developing oral cancer. If you use tobacco, ask your dentist for tips on kicking the habit.
- Medical conditions. Some diseases have symptoms related to bad breath. Sinus or lung infections, bronchitis, diabetes, and some liver or kidney diseases may be associated with bad breath.
Looking for a little fun? Check your bad breath etiquette.
Information from mouthhealthy.org and the American Dental Association