Breath, in general, can be unpleasant but it is not a cause for concern unless your breath smells so strongly that you cannot stand it. This is often referred to as halitosis or “bad” breath. The smell itself can vary depending on the cause of the problem but may have a sour or sour-like smell.
Sometimes this bad smell is accompanied by an unpleasant taste in your mouth (sometimes referred to as a “fruity” or “musty” taste). Other times there may be no taste at all; this can happen when you have gum disease, where the bacteria causing the decay can remain in your mouth and produce an unpleasant odor while not giving you any kind of taste at all (in fact, if this happens, you should see your dentist).
Table of Contents
Causes of Bad breath
Some causes of bad breath are very obvious and can be easily avoided. For example, if you eat too much garlic or onion, it may give you bad breath when you eat (the smell will come out when you swallow and then pass out through your mouth). Some foods also have a tendency to cause bad breath on their own. For example, beans or dairy products may cause an unpleasant smell after being swallowed (this is most noticeable after eating). Other foods are less obvious and may not give off any kind of smell at all until they are swallowed (e.g., celery or broccoli). In these cases, the food itself does not necessarily cause bad breath—but it is not good for you to eat them in large quantities.
As mentioned earlier, some of the causes of bad breath are less obvious. One example is excess sugar in your diet. You may not even be aware that you are eating too much sugar and it can lead to excessive tooth decay and poor oral hygiene. Another example is dry mouth, which can occur when you have low levels of saliva or if you have an oral condition (e.g., mouth sores). A dry mouth will usually cause a taste change, but in some cases, it may smell slightly off or even make you gag.
This article explores some of the more common causes of bad breath and provides tips to help you combat them.
Dry Mouth/Bad Breath Caused by Poor Oral Hygiene
Some people think that if they brush their teeth twice a day then they will avoid having bad breath (even though this does not always happen). However, brushing your teeth alone is not enough to prevent halitosis and if you are looking for a cure for your bad breath then this is the first thing you need to fix. It is very important that you clean your teeth thoroughly and do this every time you brush. This can be done in two ways: by using a toothbrush with soft bristles, or by using a piece of dental floss to remove the bacteria from between your teeth.
Brushing your teeth properly will not only help prevent halitosis but it will also help to keep them clean overall. The most important factor in keeping your teeth clean is ensuring that you brush for at least two minutes twice a day (yes, this includes when you brush at night). The reason for this is that if there are bacteria in between your teeth, brushing them only once will not remove them all and thus they will re-enter the mouth on the next breath—and this can lead to bad breath. This does not mean that brushing twice a day is unnecessary; however, it should be considered an essential part of oral hygiene.
For best results, it is recommended that you clean your teeth with a toothbrush and toothpaste that is specifically designed for your mouth. This will help to remove plaque and bacteria that are hiding in between your teeth.
Another thing to remember is that the more plaque you have on your teeth, the more chance there is of you getting cavities or gum disease. If you have gum disease, this can also lead to bad breath because the bacteria from the diseased gums will enter your mouth.
If brushing twice a day does not seem like enough to get rid of bad breath then another option for cleaning between your teeth is using dental floss. Dental floss will remove any food particles (or bacteria) that may be stuck in between your teeth or on top of them—and this can prevent bad breath as well as reduce the risk of tooth decay. Dental floss is very easy to use and most people find it easier than using a toothbrush. There are many different kinds of dental floss on the market, so make sure you choose one that is appropriate for your mouth and will not irritate your gums. If you have a bad gag reflex, then it is best to use an ultra-soft floss that will not hurt or cause discomfort.
Bad Breath Caused by Poor Diet
Another common cause of bad breath is diet. It is very common to see people having halitosis after eating something sweet or fatty (e.g., fried food). The reason for this is that after eating these types of foods, there will be bacteria in your stomach that can get into your mouth through your digestive tract and thus be re-ingested on the next breath—which can lead to halitosis.
To avoid having bad breath when eating certain foods, try to keep sugar out of your diet and eat more fresh fruit and vegetables instead. This way you will also be improving your general diet overall.
How to Treat Halitosis
If you suspect that your bad breath is caused by the bacteria on your tongue, then you may want to consider using a mouthwash that contains hydrogen peroxide or a fluoride compound. This will help to kill any bacteria that are hiding on your tongue and therefore reduce the number of bacteria re-ingested when you breathe.
If you find that these types of mouthwashes do not seem to work for you, then it is recommended that you use some other type of antibacterial agents—such as baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) or salt (sodium chloride). Just remember not to use either of these things for longer than three days because they can actually dry out your mouth and irritate it, which could lead to more problems than just halitosis. If these solutions do not work for you, then it is best to see a dentist who will be able to provide the right treatment plan for you.
Bad breath got you down? Certain foods, habits, and health conditions are among the causes of bad breath. Good dental hygiene is critical to preventing and treating bad breath. Here are some tips for keeping your mouth fresh and teeth sparkly white:
- Brush your teeth and gums gently at least twice a day for 2 minutes each time using fluoride toothpaste.
- Use a tongue scraper to gently clean your tongue once a day.
- Don’t forget to floss daily. Cleaning between your teeth removes food and bacteria that can cause odors.
- Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash.
- See your dentist regularly for check-ups.
- If you need to freshen your breath during the day, use sugar-free mints or chewing gum. If simple self-care techniques don’t solve the problem, see your dentist or physician to be sure a more serious condition isn’t causing your bad breath.