There are many possible culprits of bad breath. Here are some of the most common causes.
- Food particles remaining anywhere in the mouth can leave an unpleasant odor. Food particles collect on the chewing surface of teeth, between teeth, around the gums and on the tongue.
- Treatment is meticulous oral hygiene involving brushing 2-3 minutes 2 times a day and flossing at least once a day. It is also very important to brush the tongue!
- Eating foods with strong odor causing compounds can cause bad breath directly, but also indirectly when the body absorbs the chemicals that are then exhaled from the lungs. Thus, until the body eliminates the compounds, no amount of brushing or flossing will eliminate the odor.
- Wait loss results in the body breaking down stored fats and proteins for energy. This leads to the release of compounds that are exhaled and contribute to bad breath.
- In addition to the life threatening hazards associated with tobacco use, all forms of tobacco cause bad breath, stain teeth and irritate tissues.
- Dry mouth (xerostomia) is a common condition that has many causes. Normally, saliva cleans and removes food particles remaining after meals that may cause bad breath, and place teeth at a greater risk of decay. Causes range from medications and salivary gland abnormalities to mouth breathing.
- Treatment first requires determining the cause of dry mouth.
- Help keep mouth moist by sipping on water (preferably fluoridated water). Other helpful ways to moisten the mouth include chewing sugarless gum, and eating sugarless, low acid candies.
If you fear constant bad breath, see your dentist for an evaluation to determine the cause.