Lets face it — no one wants to have bad breath. Breath can tell us a lot about our health, ranging from simple bad breath to a more serious, underlying issue. Check out these causes of bad breath and learn the steps you can take to prevent it.
Whether you’re munching on garlic, onions or any of the many more fragrant foods, your food could cause bad breath. Your saliva helps break down food, but bacteria involved in this process can release bad odor. Other foods, like the infamous garlic, enter your blood after digestion, then travel to your lungs, causing unpleasant exhalations. Health Guidance’s list of foods that cause bad breath include dairy products; garlic, onion, or other sulfuric foods and spices; acidic drinks like orange juice; dehydrating beverages like alcohol or coffee; red meat or other foods that are hard to digest; pineapple; peppers; cabbage and tomatoes.
Bad breath is yet another reason to avoid lighting up. Tobacco causes its own unpleasant smell — whether it’s smoked or chewed. Tobacco products can also cause gum disease and dry mouth — both of which are common causes of bad breath.
Poor oral hygiene
It just makes sense: a clean mouth can produce clean breath. However, most people do not brush their teeth for the recommended two minutes twice a day. And don’t forget to floss. The combination of flossing and brushing removes leftover food particles, which helps prevent the odor-causing bacteria that normally breaks them down. Dentures and braces can also cause bad breath if food particles are not properly removed. Proper dental hygiene also prevents gum disease, which can cause bad breath. Remember to brush your tongue. Its bumpy surface creates a great hiding place for bacteria. Routine dental cleanings help reduce bad breath as well. If you’re going to use mouthwash, make sure it’s approved by the American Dental Association. The label should indicate it kills germs (antiseptic) and reduces plaque.
Medications and vitamin supplements
Doctors prescribe medications to treat medical issues, but some medications can cause bad breath. Medications that can cause bad breath include insulin shots, triamterene, paraldehyde and antihistamines. Large doses of vitamins can also cause bad breath. Speak with your doctor if you believe your medications are causing breath issues because it may indicate a more serious health issue.
Your health may contribute to bad breath. If your breath smells fruity, you may have a more serious condition of uncontrolled diabetes. Other problems may also be the source of bad breath. These include sinus infections, gum disease, pneumonia, alcoholism, and sore throat.
Taking preventative measures may reduce mouth odors. Parsley or eating a strong mint are temporary ways to reduce bad breath. The best and most effective ways to reduce bad breath are by brushing your teeth and tongue twice a day for at least two minutes, flossing after each meal, using mouthwash and getting routine dental cleanings.
Are you insecure about your breath or constantly using mouthwash and brushing your teeth to prevent an odor? You may have pseudohalitosis. This condition occurs when oral health care professionals and others do not perceive bad breath that seems apparent to you. Discuss your symptoms with your doctor.
When to Call a Professional
You should consider calling your health care provider if you have bad breath with painful, swollen gums that bleed easily or loose teeth. Also, seek medical care if you have bad breath with a sore throat, a postnasal drip, a discolored nasal discharge or a mucus-producing cough. Even if you do not have any of these symptoms coinciding with your bad breath, call your doctor if an odor persists despite having a good diet and proper dental hygiene.
Expectations at doctor’s visit
Once you determine that a doctor’s appointment is necessary, the doctor may have general medical history questions, followed by a physical exam, that you should be prepared to answer. The doctor may ask the following: Does your breath smell like fish, ammonia, fruit, feces or alcohol?; Have you recently eaten spicy or other odorous food?; Do you take vitamins?; Do you smoke?; What remedies have you tried on your own?; How effective have those measures been?; Have you recently been ill?; What are your other symptoms?
Source: Daily Rx