7 Bad Breath Causes in 2019 (and How to Treat Them)

For many people, bad breath is a common condition which is very treatable with simple interventions. Bad breath has several causes, ranging from what you eat all the way up to serious underlying oral diseases. If you have bad breath, you may be the victim of one of these bad breath causes.


  • Poor Dental Hygiene

1 – Having a consistent oral hygiene routine is key if you want to avoid bad breath. Bad dental hygiene is the most likely reason why you have bad breath. Halitosis is more often than not the first sign of poor oral hygiene, and if it is not addressed, it can lead to further complications. This includes thoroughly brushing your teeth after every meal, flossing to get residual food from in between your teeth, and using a mouthwash.

The more you neglect practicing healthy oral habits, the more you allow bad breath-causing bacteria to take residence in your mouth. You should consult your orthodontist to understand how you can practice better habits to prevent harmful bacteria accumulation.


  • Smoking and Use of Tobacco

2 – Smoking is well known as a harmful behavior that can cause damage to your respiratory system and put you at risk for a litany of diseases. It can also cause you to have rancid breath. There have been significant correlations found with the inhalation of tobacco and having a dry mouth. A dry mouth gives suspicious bacteria the opportunity they need to occupy your mouth.

In order to solve this behavior, you will want to consider the cessation of smoking altogether because of the many harmful effects that it may have on your body, or at least severely cut back.  Smoking does not only apply  to traditional cigarettes, as smokeless tobacco has been found to irritate gum tissue, thereby causing it to recede. Smoking also alters your sense of small, reducing your ability to tell whether or not your breath is bad. Curb your smoking habits, and your breath will improve in the process.


  • Alcohol

3 – Another prominent bad breath cause happens to be another destructive behavior, which is the consumption of alcohol. Alcohol is another factor in causing bad breath because just like smoking, alcohol can cause your mouth to become dry. This, of course, gives way to bacteria that can infiltrate your mouth.

People who drink excessively also tend to have significantly higher plaque levels on their teeth, and three times as likely to have permanent tooth loss than non-drinkers. From the staining of the teeth to the dryness of your mouth, limit your drinking, or if possible, remove it from your regimen altogether.


  • A Diet Low In Carbohydrates

4 – Carbohydrates are important because your body utilizes these foods to make glucose, the body’s primary source for energy. Glucose can be used for energy immediately or be used for later. As you can imagine, a diet low in carbohydrates will lead to lessened energy levels. However, a lack of carbohydrates in the diet may have a profound impact on your oral health as well.

If you drastically cut the number of carbohydrates you eat, your body will still need to find remedies to provide you with adequate energy. In order to do so in the case of low carbohydrates, your body will start to burn fat for energy. The process of burning fat, in turn, creates a compound called ketones. High levels of ketones can lead to dehydration and alter the chemical balance of your blood. This can also lead to a distinct odor from your mouth which may be described as “fruity”. Ensure you are packing in enough carbs in your diet to counteract this.


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  • Infection

5 – Infections can also be a root cause of having bad breath. Most commonly, this comes in the form of respiratory tract infections such as the common cold and bronchitis. The reason why this is the case is that bacteria take pleasure in feeding off of your mucus. Your body produces more mucus during respiratory infections because of the inflammation that takes place in your nasal passages.

Also, because you will have feelings of stuffiness in your nose, you may be resorted to breathing through your mouth which leads to, you guessed it, dry mouth. Eliminating a cause of bad breath can be done by making sure you are fit and healthy.


  • Medications

6 – While medications serve as remedies for a variety of illnesses, some of the side effects can precede bad breath. Common medications such as anticholinergics, antidepressants and allergy medications stifle saliva flow. This means that the fluid that helps wash away food and bacteria from your mouth is no longer there, causing your mouth to become dry and your breath to go bad.

Of course, medications may be necessary for your particular condition, so cutting them off altogether may not be a feasible option. As an alternative, the American Dental Association recommends that you keep your mouth hydrated by chewing sugarless gum and use special oral rinses.


  • Obesity

7 – You could also be at risk for bad breath if you happen to be overweight. Studies have suggested that an organism lives in the gut of those who are obese and gives off a distinct gas that causes rancid breath. While more research is needed to confirm the correlation, there is at least evidence to suggest there may be a connection between having bad breath and being obese. You can help this by leading a more active lifestyle and making healthier diet choices.



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An orthodontist may help you with products such as Invisalign to help your smile and appearance. But getting rid of bad breath starts with making daily changes in your life. Make wise decisions with your diet, behavioral choices and oral hygiene regimens and you will never have to worry about rancid breath. If you have further concerns, feel free to visit Drs. Nease & Higginbotham to get professional help.

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7 Bad Breath Causes in 2019 (EPIC FACTS)

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