Halitosis, generally known as bad breath or fetor oris, affects individuals at some point in their lives. The smell might come from the teeth, mouth, or due to a particular health condition. Halitosis may go away on its own, but sometimes it could be a chronic condition. The American Dental Association (ADA) also states that at least 50 percent of grownups experienced halitosis in their lifetime.
One of the best ways to avoid halitosis is by understanding its primary causes. So let us discuss what causes bad breath so you can prevent it effectively.
What Are the Causes of Halitosis?
Foul breath can affect one’s confidence and cause emotional problems and anxiety. Halitosis can be tricky because you won’t even know you have it, and if people tell you about it, it could be going on for a while. Left unattended, it can impact your work and social relationships. So we’ve collected the five common causes of bad breath to tell you what to avoid to prevent this uncomfortable condition.
1. Poor oral hygiene
Poor oral hygiene could be the most apparent cause of halitosis mentioned in this list. When you don’t clean your mouth and teeth daily, food particles that eventually become a sticky buildup of bacteria can form on your teeth. The uneven surface of the tonsils and tongue might trap bacteria and food particles in the mouth which will cause bad breath.
Poor oral care can cause serious health conditions like dental cavities and periodontal disease, which are also related to halitosis. The best defense against foul breath revolves around a consistent and careful oral care routine. Routine visits to the dentist and professional teeth cleaning are also key.
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Everyone knows onions and garlic won’t give you fresh breath and can obviously trigger halitosis, but more dietary culprits can do more than those. Other foods that may cause halitosis include horseradish, peanut butter, canned tuna, coffee, an abundance of protein, and dairy products.
3. Gum disease
Gum disease or periodontitis happens when plaque isn’t removed from the teeth. Plaque can eventually harden into tartar, which brushing can’t remove. Attempting to do so might aggravate your gums, either. Tartar can form pockets or small openings between the teeth and gums. The food particles, bacteria, or dental plaque collected in these pockets may cause a strong odor.
Gum disease can also be caused by dental conditions such as crooked or misaligned teeth. So if you’re experiencing malocclusion, it’s essential to have your teeth checked by professionals specializing in orthodontics North Vancouver to fix this condition.
4. Alcohol and tobacco use
Drinking alcohol can cause dry mouth, leading to more production of bacteria. More bacteria can trigger bad breath, so it is essential to observe moderation when consuming alcohol and not forget to drink plenty of water afterward. Smoking cigarettes can leave behind an unpleasant smell in the mouth.
Additionally, using any tobacco product increases your risk of developing periodontal disease and severe health conditions. Giving up cigarette smoking can prevent bad breath and even protect your overall health.
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5. Dry mouth
A dry mouth, or xerostomia, is a major culprit and contributor to halitosis. Dry mouth may happen for many reasons, ranging from age, stress, medications, and tobacco use. Identifying what’s causing your dry mouth and treating it may help combat halitosis.