What Causes Bad Breath?

by Dr. Yasaman Garakani on November 23, 2015

Everyone can get bad breath on occasion. Oftentimes it is related to the foods that you eat, particularly if you eat foods that have strong odours such as garlic, onions, certain sodas, as well as certain meats and fish. Sometimes we get bad breath from these foods and don’t even know it – it’s not that unusual. If however, you constantly suffer from bad breath, there might be a deeper issue you at work and you should come in and see us to determine what the cause is.

Causes of Bad Breath

If you suffer from halitosis, or chronic bad breath, you should see your dentist to help determine the cause. Oftentimes, it is related to smoking or chewing tobacco, poor dental hygiene, or certain medical conditions such as uncontrolled diabetes, sinus problems, and can even be the result of liver or kidney problems. 

The most common cause of chronic bad breath, however, is poor oral health. Taking care of your mouth by brushing twice a day, including on your tongue where bacteria can also develop, and flossing once a day can help get rid of food particles in your mouth and prevent the buildup of plaque on your teeth. Bad bacteria in the mouth often live on plaque and accelerate tooth decay leading to gum disease, which in turn, leads to bad breath.

In most cases, chewing sugarless gum, mints, or candy can help combat bad breath that results from foods with particularly strong odours. If you suffer from chronic bad breath however, contact your dentist or tell them on your next visit. They can determine if it is related to your oral hygiene. If it is not, they will then refer you on to a doctor for further assessment to find the cause.

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