Having bad breath is embarrassing, but the worst part of it is, you may not even know it. It’s so awkward that no one tells you about it, and you’re left wondering why no one wants to talk to you. The naturally occurring bacteria in your mouth helps break down food particles on your teeth, gums, and tongue. The cleaning process leaves behind compounds that contribute to bad breath.
It’s called halitosis, and the good news is, it’s temporary. A bad brushing and flossing routine can cause halitosis, and the foods you eat contribute to the problem as well. However, there are many other causes of bad breath, and if you know what causes your bad breath, you know how to fix it.
Lack of Saliva
When you skip meals, the bacteria in your mouth is hard at work. Because saliva aids in cleaning your mouth, and eating causes saliva production, eating more often actually improves your breath. When you don’t produce enough saliva, the bacteria in your mouth grows, producing stinky breath.
Consequently, because you don’t eat while you sleep, this contributes to morning breath as well. When we sleep, we don’t produce as much saliva, resulting in the same effect until we brush our teeth the next morning.
Breathing through your mouth makes saliva evaporate, reducing your mouth’s ability to rinse away food particles. Many people breathe through their mouths during exercise. Lack of hydration also contributes to this issue, so make sure you drink plenty of fluids during and after your workout.
Taking medications that dry out your mouth also cause decreased saliva production and bad breath. You can’t do anything about your medication routine, so be sure you brush or scrape your tongue since that’s where most of the bacteria live. It helps to reduce bad breath.
Alcohol and Smelly Food
Alcohol is difficult for your saliva to break down, meaning it stays in your mouth longer. It also dehydrates you and dries out your mouth which produces the same effects we already discussed. Metabolizing alcohol also produces an odor that can contribute to bad breath.
Garlic and onions are repeat offenders; however, spices, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and radishes can make your breath smell, too. Often bad breath caused by food stems from the GI tract, not your mouth. Chemicals from digesting food are absorbed into your bloodstream, penetrating the lungs, causing you to expel them later.
Poor oral hygiene causes bad breath in more ways than one. Of course, your breath smells when you don’t brush your teeth. But failing to brush your teeth leads to more complicated issues like cavities. When you have cavities, food can get stuck in them, making it harder for you to clean your mouth. As remnants of your last meal linger longer, your breath gets stinkier.
Unfortunately, orthodontic appliances like dentures are difficult to maintain as well. Clean them every day because they are food particle magnets. They also cause higher plaque accumulation, which is why establishing a good cleaning routine is essential. This goes for braces, bridges, and retainers, too.
Foreign particles you breathe through your nose are filtered by mucus, which is a good thing. When you have seasonal allergies or a cold, the mucus builds up in the back of your throat, it travels to your mouth, settling on the surface of your tongue, triggering bad breath.
High Blood Sugar
If you have type 1 diabetes, it can be a struggle to keep your blood sugar under control. While we normally think of stinky breath as a bad thing, in this case, it can be an indicator of something more serious. You may be experiencing diabetic ketoacidosis, which is a life-threatening condition that causes heart attacks and kidney failure.
Dentists identify sweet, sugary scents on a patient’s breath most often if they have undiagnosed diabetes. It’s a sign that their blood sugar levels are too high, and they need medical help right away. It’s important not to disregard bad breath in this situation.
Bad breath plagues everyone from time to time. However, there is an interesting condition called halitophobia, which is a false belief that you have bad breath. It affects one percent of the population. It’s certainly not a cause of bad breath, but a true persistent fear that you have it.
Chances are you don’t have halitophobia. Other things like smoking, heartburn, and certain medical conditions can cause bad breath too. With proper hygiene, you can conquer bad breath before it conquers you.
This guest post is written by Paul Lee promoting www.thantakit.com.