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Bad Breath: Causes and Effective Treatments

Bad breath (halitosis) can be a difficult problem to solve.

Bad breath can be a difficult problem to solve. It is a common problem for many people, and it can be embarrassing and socially isolating for the sufferer.

Bad breath often caused by poor oral health, but there are other causes as well. Bad breath may be caused by:

  • Mouth breathing or snoring
  • Having an overgrowth of fungus in the mouth (thrush)
  • Poor dental hygiene, including infrequent flossing and brushing without using mouthwash afterward

Bad breath can be caused by many things, including bacterial buildup on the teeth.

The effects of bad breath caused by many things, including bacterial buildup on the teeth. In fact, it’s estimated that some 80 percent of oral malodor comes from bacteria in the mouth. The majority of these are located in the plaque that forms around your teeth. This is why we recommend brushing twice daily and flossing once daily—to keep your mouth clean and fresh-smelling.

If you have dry mouth (xerostomia), this can also lead to halitosis. Dryness usually occurs when you have a reduced amount of saliva in your mouth due to dehydration or illness. As saliva contains bicarbonate ions (which neutralize acid), it helps maintain an alkaline environment for good oral health by reducing bacterial activity and swallowing food particles that help stimulate digestion.

One of the most common causes of bad breath is improper oral health care.

One of the common causes of bad breath is improper oral health care. If you are not practicing proper oral hygiene, it can lead to bad breath because it allows food particles and bacteria to build up in your mouth. However, brushing your teeth twice a day with a soft bristle toothbrush and flossing daily will help keep food particles off your teeth and out of your mouth, which reduces the amount of odor-causing bacteria. Cleaning around dentures with an antimicrobial rinse helps prevent odor as well.

If you wear dentures or have them removed overnight, make sure that they are cleaned at least once a day by soaking them in warm water or another type of solution designed for cleaning artificial teeth before reinserting them into their sockets; this will prevent odors from building up on these important pieces of dental equipment.

Other causes of bad breath include a dry mouth, certain foods and beverages, poor diet, smoking and even some medications.

There are a variety of causes for bad breath, including:

  • dry mouth (xerostomia) caused by medications or an underlying condition such as Sjögren’s syndrome and diabetes
  • certain foods and beverages that cause the bacteria in your mouth to produce sulfur compounds, such as onions, garlic and red wine. These can also be brought on by eating too much protein-rich food like meat; protein breaks down into ammonia during digestion and ammonia smells like rotten eggs when it is released into the mouth
  • poor diet – if you’re not getting enough nutrients from food, your body may produce sulfur compounds as an alternative source of energy for cells. This smell is similar to what comes out of a smelly drain after cooking strong-smelling foods such as cabbage

Many common bad-breath problems can be prevented or treated easily.

Bad breath is not a serious health problem, but it can be embarrassing. While some people have bad breath all the time, most experience it only occasionally.

Many causes of bad breath are easily treated or prevented. In fact, many cases of chronic bad breath are due to poor oral hygiene and can simply be fixed with better brushing and flossing habits. If you have recurring problems with bad breath that aren’t being caused by food stuck in your teeth or gum disease, see your trusted North York dentist for an evaluation to make sure there isn’t something more serious going on.

Adequate oral hygiene is essential to preventing bad breath.

The mouth is home to millions of bacteria, which cause bad breath. Brushing your teeth at least twice daily and flossing daily will assist remove plaque and food particles from your teeth, reducing the amount of odor-causing bacteria in the mouth. The more often you brush and floss, the better!

Regular dental checkups are also important to maintaining good oral hygiene because they allow your dentist to detect any developing problems before they become serious enough to require treatment. Keeping dentures clean by soaking them overnight in a denture cleaning solution will help prevent bad breath caused by bacteria buildup on dentures that results from eating certain foods like garlic or onions (which contain sulfuric compounds).

Limit your intake of sugary drinks and foods that may cause plaque build-up in your mouth.

While it’s true that sugar has no direct link to bad breath, the simple fact is that sugar can make your teeth more susceptible to cavities and other problems.

If you must have something sweet in your mouth, opt for sugarless gum or candy so as not to exacerbate any existing problems. If you have any sort of decay or tooth sensitivity issues, the last thing you want is a sugary treat lingering around in there!

Chewing sucking on sugarless candy or sugarless gum can help produce saliva and temporarily freshen your breath while doing nothing to boost harmful bacteria levels in your mouth.

Sucking on candy or Chewing gum can help produce saliva and temporarily freshen your breath while doing nothing to boost harmful bacteria levels in your mouth. The sugarless gum or candy will also not remove bacteria from your mouth, so it is recommended that you brush and floss before chewing gum or sucking on candy for any extended period of time.

Drinking water encourages saliva production, which helps to prevent odors and also washes away food particles.

Drinking water encourages saliva production, which helps to prevent odors and also washes away food particles. Saliva contains enzymes that digest food and keep your mouth fresh. If you don’t drink enough water, your mouth will be dry, which can lead to bad breath.

The American Dental Association recommends that adults drink at least eight glasses of water regularly if they’re sedentary (or about two liters). If you exercise regularly or live in a hot environment where you sweat a lot, then you may need more than this amount.

However, it’s important not to confuse thirst with hunger—you’ll know you’re thirsty if your mouth feels dry or cottony; otherwise, try eating something healthy instead! Avoid sugary drinks like soda or fruit juice because they tend not only contain calories but also bacteria that can contribute even more towards bad breath – especially if consumed on an empty stomach!

Brush your tongue gently as you brush your teeth twice a day.

  • Use a soft toothbrush, with a small head
  • Brush your tongue gently in a back and forth motion
  • Make sure to brush all sides of your tongue (and not just the front), as that’s where bad breath can often originate.
  • Don’t just rinse your mouth out after brushing, but swish the water around your mouth for 30 seconds before spitting it out.

Dental flossing will remove food particles from between the teeth where a toothbrush will not reach.

If you floss daily, you can help prevent bad breath by removing food particles that lead to plaque and tartar buildup. Flossing should be done once a day before brushing, as well as after brushing. People who tend to skip flossing in favor of other dental hygiene routines may want to go back over the areas they missed with a toothpick or pick up a new pack of floss so they don’t have an excuse not to floss daily!


Bad breath can be a difficult problem to solve. However, with proper dental care and good oral hygiene practices, most people can improve their breath naturally. If you are concerned about your breath, visit a dentist to determine whether the problem is something easily treated with professional care in one office visit or if it is caused by something more serious that requires medical intervention.

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