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5 Main causes of bad breath

Photo by Oleg Magni

Are you looking for a way to get rid of bad breath for good? Understanding what causes bad breath can help you tailor your oral health routine to eliminate unwanted odors and stay close to those important to you.

1. Anaerobic Bacteria
Anaerobic bacteria are the microbes that survive in areas of your mouth where there isn’t good ventilation. Crevices of the teeth, the back of the tongue, and in the gum line are ideal places for bacteria to thrive.
As you eat, bacteria consume food particles and excrete sulfur compounds. In order to eliminate bacteria from settling in your mouth, good oral hygiene practices such as brushing, flossing, and using an ADA-approved mouthwash are essential. A healthy routine also helps prevent serious oral conditions such as tooth decay and gum disease.

2. Dehydration
Saliva is a natural, anti-microbial cleaner. A lack of water entering your system will cause your body to produce less saliva, making your oral region more airless, forcing bacteria and odors to build up, and it could lead to long-term effects like gum disease. 
Dehydration is caused by not drinking enough water, losing too much water, or a combination of both. By drinking more water and staying hydrated, your body will be able to maintain saliva levels and reduce odors associated with bad breath.

3. Stomach Conditions
It’s possible that your teeth are clean, you’re hydrated, and you visit your dentist regularly, but odors still happen. Bacteria can thrive in other areas of your system, including your digestive tract and stomach.
If you’re experiencing indigestion, discomfort, or stomach pain after eating, you may have an infection or disease that needs treatment. Consult a physician immediately to test for bacteria that is affecting your body, health, and well-being.

4. Diet, Prescription Drugs, and Tobacco
Ingesting certain foods can cause bad breath because of the way your body breaks them down. Onions, garlic, and certain fats release an aroma when they are digested, causing unpleasantness that escapes from your mouth.
Certain medications and vitamin supplements can release chemicals during digestion and also reduce saliva. Tobacco produces its own type of odor and can lead to gum disease that causes bad breath. If you're unsure of the side effects of your medication and tobacco, consult your dentist immediately. 

5. Dental Conditions
Gum disease, cavities, damaged fillings, and unclean dentures are ideal spots for bacteria to accumulate. If you’re experiencing chronic bad breath, you’ll want to schedule a checkup with your dentist as soon as possible.
Having a professional evaluate your teeth, as well as practicing good oral hygiene such as brushing and flossing regularly, can help eliminate odors associated with bad breath. Getting rid of odors will not only make your mouth feel good, but it will also help you stay close to those around you.

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