What Causes Bad Breath?

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Now, more than ever, with mask wearing being required in most public places, we are acutely aware of what our breath smells like! If we hadn’t realized prior to Covid, some of us are troubled by the odors permeating from our masks and wondering what could be causing it and more importantly – what can be done!





What Causes Bad Breath? 

Bad breath, or halitosis, can be caused from certain foods we eat, habits we adopt or even medications we take. It can be caused from digestive issues, upper respiratory infections or more serious illnesses or metabolic disorders. Most oftentimes however, bad breath is caused by poor oral hygiene.

Without adequate or proper brushing and flossing, food particles remain on or in between the teeth and on the surface of the tongue.  These food particles attract harmful bacteria that remain in the mouth and cause a foul odor. If left undisturbed, they lead to plaque and tarter build up that can cause gum disease and bone loss.



What Can I Do About It?

It’s important to brush at least twice daily for a full two minutes each time. Soft bristles are best for your enamel and an electric toothbrush tends to do a more thorough job. Floss at least once a day in addition to brushing and swish with an anti-bacterial mouth rinse of your choosing.

Avoid tobacco products. Not only do they cause bad breath, they also lead to bone loss and gum disease.

Drink lots of water. Believe it or not, dry mouth can also cause bad breath. Drinking lots of water helps to maintain a healthy oral pH and also helps to wash away the harmful, odor-causing bacteria.

Talk to your health care professional. It’s important to keep in mind that if good oral hygiene doesn’t seem to be improving your bad breath, there may be an underlying medical issue. Talk to your dentist or primary care physician for a professional opinion or evaluation.