10 Causes of Bad Breath

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Bad breath plagues everyone at some time or another. If you are aware of it, hopefully you try to get rid of it, or at least try to hide it. If you are not aware of it, you may be wondering why people keep their distance. Regardless, everyone needs to be aware that it’s a potential reality and understand the causes of bad breath to better defend against it, gain confidence, and enjoy more pleasant conversations. Here are ten primary causes of bad breath.

1. Food

Foods like garlic and onions can leave potent, lingering odors. These odors can last for days until the food has worked its way through your system! Alcohol and coffee increase the body’s acidity and can dehydrate. This can lead to dry mouth, a state which creates atrocious odors. This often goes hand in hand with…

2. Poor Oral Care

Inadequate brushing and flossing can leave foods residues. These residues lead to plaque development on your teeth. Plaque is an ideal food for the bacteria that make your breath smell awful! That’s because the bacteria that feed on the food sugars and plaque expel sulfuric smelling compounds. Enough bacteria can lead to cavities and periodontal disease, which leads to more bacteria and a circular problem that leaves you with an even stinkier mouth.

3. Tongue (or Mouth) Piercings

That’s right, that really cool and enjoyable tongue piercing can bring about noxious breath by providing a haven for harmful organisms that cause it. Research has indicated higher incidences of Candida albicans (yeast) infections in persons with tongue-piercings.

4. Dry Mouth (aka Xerostamia)

This is the rough, cottony feeling you get when your saliva flow slows. If you feel that, check your breath. You are a prime candidate for bad breath. Some causes of dry mouth can be mouth breathing, alcohol or coffee consumption, and medications (more on that in a moment).

5. Medicines

Helfpul as they are intended to be, the medicines you take may cause your breath to reak. Many medications create side effects that dehydrate and lead to dry mouth. Some of these medicines include antihistamines, antidepressants, anticholinergics, anorexiants, antihypertensives, antipsychotics, anti-Parkinson agents, diuretics and sedatives.

6. Smoking

Smoking, especially cigarette smoking, creates a chronic ‘smoker’s breath’. In the best cases, this odor smells of the tobacco and chemicals… and that’s not very good. The longterm effects are much worse. Researchers found the chemicals and compounds released from smoking lead to dry mouth and reduced salivary flow. Both of these lead to a build-up of bad bacteria which can result in bad breath. Smoking can also lead to periodontal disease and cancers of the mouth. Bad breath would be the least of your problems once these develop.

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