Bad breath is something that is unpleasant for you and those around you. While we have all probably experienced bad breath at some point, you may be wondering what causes bad breath to happen. There are a variety of causes for bad breath. Some are serious, while other causes are not.
At King Orthodontics, we’ve put together some information on what causes bad breath and how you can prevent it.

Poor Dental Hygiene/Gum Disease

Pittsburgh Orthodontic CareThis is one of the most common causes of bad breath, but it is, fortunately, one of the easiest causes of bad breath to treat and prevent. This is an easy fix that shouldn’t be put off.
If you have poor brushing and flossing habits, you can develop gum disease, which can cause bigger problems than bad breath. If gum disease advances, it can eat away at the gums and the bone that holds your teeth in place. This can result in loose teeth that you will eventually lose if the issue is not treated. It’s crucial to attend your regular exams so gum disease can be caught early and treated before it can progress.
Be sure to brush for at least two minutes and floss at least twice a day to keep your teeth and gums healthy and free of and breath. You also want to make sure that you brush your tongue from that back to the front. This routine will help you get rid of harmful bacteria and keep your gums, tongue, and teeth healthy.

Dry Mouth

When your mouth is dry, it leads to dead cells accumulating on your gums, tongue, and cheek. While morning breath is a normal occurrence caused by decreased salivary activity, it should not last all day long. If you take certain medications, are middle-aged, or snore, you are more likely to have a dry mouth.
You can try over-the-counter saliva substitutes that contain xylitol or ones that contain carboxymethylcellulose or hydroxyethylcellulose. You can also use mouthwash that is designed for dry mouths. Avoiding smoking and limiting your caffeine intake can also help.

Certain Foods

While garlic and onions are healthy and delicious additions to your meal, they contain oils that can cause bad breath. The odor from these pungent oils comes from within the lungs and can last for up to 72 hours! They can be difficult to cover up, but we recommend using mints, gum, or mouthwashes to help alleviate these strong smells.

Common Illnesses

If you have a cough, cold, sore throat, or a sinus infection, you can accumulate an unpleasant smelling mucus in your nose, throat, and mouth. This can cause bad breath until you recover from your illness. Be sure to keep an eye on your symptoms. If they don’t begin to clear up within a week, be sure to contact your doctor to make sure you don’t have a more serious illness.

There are a variety of serious diseases and conditions that can cause bad breath, including:
• Lung infections
• Kidney failure
• Diabetes
• Cancer
• Anorexia
• Bulimia
These chronic conditions are rare, but if you think you may be suffering from any of these diseases, be sure to contact your physician.

Have questions about bad breath or need to schedule a consultation? Contact King Orthodontics today!