Halitosis, more commonly known as bad breath, affects many people. In order to solve this embarrassing problem, you need to work out what the source of it is. Take a look at the following list of possible causes to see if you can figure it out.
1. Not Brushing or Flossing Enough
You might think that you brush your teeth well enough, but do you actually clean every surface of your teeth, including the backs and chewing surfaces? Do you also floss to remove food that is trapped between the teeth? Try paying close attention to your cleaning routine for the next few days to see if a more thorough clean makes a difference.
2. Eating Smelly Foods
Some foods are more likely than others to leave a lingering smell on your breath. For example, garlic, onions, coffee and certain spices, such as fenugreek, all have smells that can stick around. You could try cutting these foods from your diet, or simply clean your teeth immediately after eating them.
It is often easy to identify a smoker because of the way their breath smells. Although you might not notice the smell of cigarette smoke lingering on your breath, it is likely that those around you can detect it. One option to prevent smoking from causing bad breath is to stop smoking altogether.
4. Gum Disease
Bad breath is often one of the first signs of gum disease. The bacteria that infect the gums produce waste products that smell bad. If you suddenly start to have bad breath despite no change in your diet, then you should see your dentist for a checkup. When gum disease is diagnosed early, a dentist can treat it using medicated mouth rinses, antibiotics, professional cleanings and root planing. However, if you let the condition progress without treatment you could end up losing one or more teeth.
5. Not Drinking Enough Water
Dehydration is an often-overlooked cause of bad breath. When your body does not have enough fluid to make an adequate amount of saliva, bacteria can colonise the mouth more easily, producing waste gases that cause your breath to smell. Fill a bottle with water and keep it with you during the day to remind yourself to drink more.
Sometimes, infections in your throat or sinuses can cause your breath to smell. These infections do not usually last very long, and your breath should smell normal again once they clear up.
A dentist can inspect your mouth and help you isolate the cause of your bad breath.