Bad breath, also known as halitosis, is a common condition that affects many people. It can be caused by a variety of factors, including poor oral hygiene, certain foods, smoking, dry mouth, gum disease, sinus infections, and medical conditions such as diabetes and liver disease.
Some foods, health conditions and habits lead to bad breath. Proper dental hygiene can help improve bad breath, and when simple self-care techniques don’t work well, talk to your dentist or physician to ensure the bad breath is not due to a more severe medical condition.
Understand the symptoms
- A white coating on the tongue especially at the back of the tongue.
- Dry mouth.
- Build up around teeth.
- Post-nasal drip, or mucous.
- Morning bad breath and a burning tongue.
- Thick saliva and a constant need to clear your throat.
- Constant sour, bitter metallic taste
Know the causes
Bad breath, also known as halitosis, can be caused by several factors. Here are some of the most common causes:
- Poor dental hygiene: Failing to brush and floss your teeth regularly can lead to the buildup of bacteria in your mouth, causing bad breath.
- Gum disease: Gum disease is an infection of the gums and bone that support your teeth. It is usually caused by poor oral hygiene and can lead to bad breath.
- Dry mouth: Saliva helps to wash away food particles and bacteria in your mouth. If you have dry mouth, it can lead to bad breath. Dry mouth can be caused by certain medications, salivary gland problems, or breathing through your mouth.
- Certain foods and drinks: Foods and drinks with strong odors such as garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol can cause bad breath.
- Tobacco use: Smoking and other forms of tobacco use can lead to bad breath and other oral health problems.
- Medical conditions: Certain medical conditions such as sinus infections, respiratory tract infections, and diabetes can cause bad breath.
- If you have persistent bad breath, it’s important to see your dentist or doctor to determine the underlying cause and develop a treatment plan.
Measures for prevention
There are several measures you can take to prevent bad breath:
- Maintain good oral hygiene: Brush your teeth twice a day and floss at least once a day to remove food particles and plaque from your teeth and gums.
- Use mouthwash: Rinse your mouth with an antibacterial mouthwash to kill bacteria and freshen your breath.
- Drink plenty of water: Drinking water can help wash away food particles and bacteria in your mouth and prevent dry mouth.
- Avoid certain foods and drinks: Foods and drinks with strong odors such as garlic, onions, coffee, and alcohol can cause bad breath.
- Quit smoking: Smoking and other forms of tobacco use can lead to bad breath and other oral health problems.