What Causes Bad Breath or Halitosis?

What Causes Bad Breath or Halitosis?

There are various reasons one may have bad breath, but in healthy people the major reason is due to bacteria on the tongue. Some studies have shown that simply brushing the tongue reduces bad breath by 70%.

Some causes of bad breath:

  1. Food
  2. Poor oral hygiene habits
  3. Periodontal (gum) disease
  4. Tobacco products
  5. Medications
  6. Dry mouth (Xerosomia)
  7. Infections in your mouth
  8. Dental cavities
  9. Mouth, nose and throat problems

What can you do?

We recommend improving your oral hygiene habits first. Brushing and flossing daily could make a big difference with the removal of plaque and bacteria. Brushing your tongue also removes dead cells, bacteria and remaining food. Drinking water can wash away food particles and help with a dry mouth. If you wear a mouth guard, retainer or dentures, make sure you are properly cleaning and rinsing them. Changing your tooth brush every three months or when the bristles are frayed is recommended by the American Dental Association (ADA). If you have serious concerns or after changing your habits you do not see a change, please consult with Dr. Tikson.

Learn more about halitosis from the Mayo Clinic.

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