4 Common Causes of Bad Breath

Posted on: 25 July 2018

Many people suffer from bad breath, which can be very embarrassing in professional, social and intimate situations. If you can't seem to shake bad breath, consider whether one of these four common causes could be to blame.

1. Diet

Bad breath is not always caused by diet, but paying attention to the foods and beverages you put in your mouth is a good place to start when trying to work out why your breath smells.

The foods that are best known for causing bad breath are garlic and onions, particularly red onions. However, sugary foods can also be a problem as they encourage bacteria to multiply in your mouth. As the bacteria break down the sugar, they produce bad-smelling gases. Try to cut back on sugar and clean your teeth regularly to curb the growth of bacteria.

Drinking a lot of coffee can cause your breath to smell stale and slightly bitter. After indulging in a morning latte, rinse your mouth with water or mouthwash to remove the smell.

2. Gum Disease

Bad breath that doesn't go away when you change your diet could be a sign of gum disease. Bacteria in your mouth form a film called plaque on the teeth, which can harden into tartar if you don't brush it away every day. Over time, this tartar starts to irritate the gums and allows bacteria to infect the gum tissue. Gum disease can lead to teeth becoming loose and even falling out if you don't get it treated, so if it's been a while since your last dental checkup, schedule an appointment with a dentist.

3. Dry Mouth

People who struggle with dry mouth often have bad breath. This is because saliva contains enzymes that kill bacteria. When your mouth doesn't produce enough saliva, bacteria get a chance to thrive and produce gases that make your breath smell bad.

Dry mouth is a common side effect of many medications. However, you should not stop taking vital medications if your mouth feels dry. Instead, ask your dentist for advice.

4. Acid Reflux

If you frequently experience heartburn or feel acid coming up into the back of your throat, you might have gastroesophageal reflux disease, or GERD. This condition, in which acid often escapes from the stomach and comes up into the throat, not only makes breath smell bad; it can also cause serious damage to the oesophagus. See your doctor if you think you might have GERD.


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