Bad breath is a fact of life.
Whether it be from your cherished morning coffee or those onions you had in your lunch salad, bad breath happens to all of us. However, when a mint or mouthwash doesn’t seem to help, and we begin noticing persistent, recurring bad breath, this can have a serious impact on our relationships, career, and confidence.
So, what causes bad breath?
Also known as halitosis, bad breath may be a chronic or temporary problem. On the one hand, bad breath is usually a temporary problem where an unpleasant odour may arise from the mouth or teeth. However, bad breath may also be a result of an underlying health problem.
Poor dental hygiene
Poor dental hygiene is a big contributor to bad breath. When we eat, bacteria in our mouths break down the food particles. When combined with decaying food in your mouth, this bacterium can produce an unpleasant odour.
Brushing and flossing regularly removes plaque (the sticky substance that builds up and causes odour) and eliminates those food particles that may be trapped. Brushing and flossing will also help prevent cavities, which also contributes to bad breath.
Strong foods and beverages
Pungent foods like coffee, garlic, tuna, and onions may also induce bad breath. This is because your stomach absorbs the oils from your black americano or onion rings and passes it into your bloodstream, which then travels to your lungs and is exhaled.
This process can produce an odour you can notice on your breath for up to 72 hours. So, the day before your job interview, maybe skip the tuna salad sandwich!
Smoking cigarettes or cigars may also induce bad breath as it leaves an odour on your breath and dries out your mouth, making the smell even worse. Kicking the habit will save your health in the long run and your friends and family from bad breath in the meantime!
Feeling parched? Bad breath may also be caused by your mouth not making enough saliva!
Saliva rinses and removes unwanted leftovers, breaks down food, and provides disease-fighting substances to help prevent cavities, all of which works to keep you odour-free. Dry mouth may also be caused by medications, certain medical conditions, alcohol use, and excessive caffeine.
Bad breath may also occur from underlying health conditions like
- Periodontal disease
- A sinus infection
- Postnasal drainage
- Chronic bronchitis
- And infection in your upper or lower respiratory system
- Or tonsil stones, which can collect bacteria, worsening bad breath
- Sleep apnea
- Gastroesophageal reflux disorder
Thankfully, in most cases, with a few simple fixes, you can rid yourself of bad breath and get back to laughing, talking and smiling with confidence.
To prevent bad breath, we recommend
- Start by following a healthy dental routine! Brushing and flossing your teeth twice a day, for two minutes, with a fluoride toothpaste will get rid of any plaque build up
- Brushing your tongue with a toothbrush or tongue scraper once a day to remove bacteria. The tickling and tingling from tongue scraping are worth it in the long run!
- Using an antimicrobial mouthwash to kill bacteria
- Staying hydrated to prevent a dry mouth
- Cleaning dentures, mouth guards and retainers daily
- Replacing your toothbrush every three months
- Ditching the cigarettes and cigars
- Cutting back on caffeine
Surprise! There are also a few foods shown to help bad breath
- Parsley has been shown to combat foul sulphur compounds. If chewing on parsley doesn’t sound like your forte, try a parsley dietary supplement.
- Yogurt contains healthy bacteria and probiotics effective in reducing the severity of bad breath. One serving a day will do!
- Oranges have been shown to promote dental hygiene through vitamin C by increasing saliva production, which, as we know, is great for rinsing out the mouth and eliminating bad breath.
- Apples contain certain compounds which neutralize four smelling compounds in garlic. So, rest assured, you can still enjoy your garlic aioli.
- Green tea is also great, as it contains disinfectant and deodorizing properties that temporarily freshen the breath. Mint tea also has a similar effect.
- Milk is a known cure for bad breath, especially the dreaded garlic breath.
And finally, the big one for preventing bad breath: scheduling a dental cleaning with us every six months! Call Skyview Family & Cosmetic Dentistry to book an appointment.
Regular dental cleanings are the key to banishing lousy breath and restoring your ability to go about life free of bad breath woes. We can also show you techniques and devices to make sure you’re getting the most out of your at-home dental hygiene practices.
Notice your bad breath is still lingering, despite having tried all the preventative methods we let you in on? There may be sometime else going on, like an underlying health condition. But no worries, we’re here to help. Call us at to book an appointment. Together we can track down what the cause may be and create an action plan.
At least 50% of adults have dealt with halitosis in their life, so rest assured you’re not alone. With our help, you can feel confident knowing that your next job interview, date, special event or just plain, old everyday life won’t be hindered by bad breath woes.