Bad breath (halitosis) is a quite common issue that can have various causes. Some of them can be insignificant and require only proper self-care while others may need professional medical care. Here is a list of eight common causes of bad breath you need to know.

1. Smelly food

There are a lot of foods that can make your breath smell awful. For example, garlic, onions, and other spicy food can affect the air you exhale and make it smelly. In this case, tooth brushing, rinsing, or chewing gum can bring only temporary results. If you have to visit an important meeting or event, it is better to avoid such foods at least a day before it. 

2. Poor oral hygiene

A lack of oral hygiene can contribute to dental plaque and food particles build-up. If you don’t brush your teeth and floss, this mixture can start smelling. Additionally, you need to understand that poor oral hygiene can contribute to the development of tooth decay and gum disease. That’s why it is essential to take care of your oral cavity to keep your teeth and gums healthy. 

3. Tooth decay

Tooth decay is a condition in which a tooth develops a cavity. This cavity can accumulate bacteria, food particles, and dental plaque. That’s why people with tooth decay can have a “rot” breath. Timely following or other treatment options can help prevent the aggravation of tooth decay and eliminate bad breath. 

4. Dental abscess

A dental abscess is a dangerous condition that occurs when the infection penetrates the tooth that was damaged. Due to the fact that tooth abscess can cause severe complications, it is essential to contact an emergency dentist is you have the following symptoms:

  • Severe toothache
  • Gum swelling and redness
  • Tooth sensitivity to hot, cold, or sweet foods and drinks
  • Bad breath
  • Fever
  • Loose tooth

5. Gum disease

Gum disease is an inflammation that occurs in gums. In most cases, gum disease is caused by poor oral hygiene but smoking and certain health issues (like diabetes, HIV, or hormonal fluctuations) can also contribute to its development. It is essential to treat gum disease in the early stages since the advanced condition (periodontitis) can lead to severe complications. 

6. Acid reflux

Acid reflux is a condition in which the stomach acid flows back up into the food pipe (the esophagus). This can cause heartburn, bloating, an unpleasant sour taste in the mouth, and bad breath. Even though acid reflux can be reduced with the help of home remedies and OTC medication, it is better to visit a doctor for thorough diagnosis and precise treatment. 

7. Dry mouth

Dry mouth occurs when your salivary glands don’t produce enough saliva to keep your mouth moisturized. This condition can cause bad breath, difficulty chewing, impaired sense of taste, and other unpleasant symptoms. You can experience a lack of salivation because of dehydration and certain medications. That’s why it is better to visit a doctor to define the underlying cause of your condition.

8. Smoking

Smoking is an extremely harmful habit that can cause a lot of health issues and other unpleasant consequences. People who smoke are more prone to get bad breath, gum disease, and tooth decay since tobacco by-products usually remain in the oral cavity and mix with dental plaque. Additionally, smoking can contribute to the development of oral and throat cancer

The bottom line

Bad breath can cause a lot of trouble during conversation especially due to the fact that people usually don’t know that their breath is smelly. That’s why it is important to maintain proper oral hygiene, visit the dentist regularly, and pay attention to your overall health. 

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