What causes bad breath?

Halitosis is the medical term for bad breath. It’s an unpleasant condition that’s cause for embarrassment. Bad breath can result from poor dental health habits and may be a sign of other health problems

Bad breath can be caused the food you eat. If you don’t brush and floss every day, food particles can remain in your teeth, collecting bacteria, which then causes bad breath. Plaque can also form from food lodged in teeth. This leads to gum disease, which can also produce bad breath and bad taste in a person’s mouth. Infrequent eating may also cause unpleasant breath.

Dry mouth can also cause bad breath. Dry mouth can be a result of several different medications, issues with salivary glands or from breathing through the mouth. Saliva plays an important role in flushing away food particles. When saliva flow is reduced, food particles are not cleaned away and cause bad breath. Your dentist may suggest saliva substitutes or sugarless candy to improve saliva flow.

Smoking and tobacco also causes bad breath by irritating your gums. Smokers are more likely to have gum disease. Your dentist can help you find the right way for you to quit smoking.

If you are concerned about bad breath, see your dentist.

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