Bad breath affects an estimated 25 percent of people representing 1 in 4 people globally . There are a number of possible causes of halitosis, but the vast majority come down to oral hygiene.
Halitosis can cause significant worry, embarrassment, and anxiety but it is relatively easy to remedy.
Cavities and deeper pockets from gum diseases give bad breath and bacteria extra places to hide in your mouth that are difficult to clear out when you’re brushing or cleaning between your teeth.
A film of bacteria called plaque builds up if brushing is not regular. This result in bad breath with time.
Mouth, Nose and Throat Infections:
According to the Mayo Clinic, nose, sinus and throat issues that can lead to postnasal drip may also contribute to bad breath.
Saliva goes a long way for your dental health – and your breath. It rinses and removes unwanted leftovers from your mouth, helps break down food when you eat and provides disease-fighting substances to help prevent cavities and infections. If you don’t make enough saliva, one sign may be halitosis. Dry mouth can be caused by medications, certain medical conditions, alcohol use, tobacco use or excessive caffeine.
Smoking and tobacco:
Tobacco products wreak havoc on your body and your breath. Not only do many tobacco products leave their own odor on your breath; they can also dry out your mouth. Smokers are also more likely to develop gum disease, which can also add to halitosis.
Other chronic conditions:
While halitosis is most often linked to something happening in your mouth, it may also be a sign of gastric reflux, diabetes, liver or kidney disease.
The specific odor of breath can vary depending on the cause of the problem. It is best to ask a close friend or relative to gauge your mouth odor, as it can be difficult to assess it yourself.
If no one is available, one way of checking the odor is to lick your wrist, leave it to dry, and then smell it. A bad smell on this area of the wrist is likely to suggest that you have halitosis.
Brush the teeth: Be sure to brush at least twice a day, preferably after each meal.
Brush tongue: Bacteria, food, and dead cells commonly build up on the tongue, especially in smokers or those with a particularly dry mouth. A tongue scraper can sometimes be useful.
Avoid dry mouth: Drink plenty of water. Avoid alcohol and tobacco, both of which dehydrate the mouth. Chewing gum or sucking a sweet, preferably sugar-free, can help stimulate the production of saliva. If the mouth is chronically dry, a doctor may prescribe medication that stimulates the flow of saliva.
If you notice your bad breath persists, check in with a dentist. Together, you can track down what the cause may be. With a proper cleaning and exam, your dentist can help rule out any oral health problems and advise you on next steps, including what types of dental products to use, treatment plans to take care of cavities or gum disease or refer you to a medical provider to follow up.