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Bad breath, or halitosis, often occurs after eating certain foods like onions or garlic or in the morning after waking up. If a person smokes tobacco or indulges in alcohol that will also cause temporary bad breath. And, the reality is everyone experiences bad breath once in a while. However, for some people, it may be a daily issue that is hard to find a solution for. Read further as we discuss the causes of bad breath and how to address it.  


What Causes Bad Breath?


As mentioned above, there are certain foods and beverages that cause temporary bad breath. But, if bad breath is recurring it probably has to do with poor oral hygiene habits. A person that is not habitual about brushing their teeth twice daily and flossing can develop dental issues like plaque and tartar buildup, gum disease, and a dry mouth. If the plaque is allowed to turn into tartar then the only way to get rid of the sticky bacteria is to visit a dentist who has the tools to remove it. If tartar is not removed, then it can develop into a gum disease like gingivitis or periodontitis. It is crucial to visit a dentist to rule out or identify what is the cause of the persistent bad breath that will not go away.  


There are other things that can cause bad breath that should not be overlooked. Certain illnesses like tonsillitis, or sinusitis or bronchitis could be responsible for temporary bad breath.  Advanced liver or kidney disease, and diabetes that is not been controlled can also contribute to bad breath.  In these cases, a patient should seek medical attention.  Finally, if the person wears a nightguard in their mouth, that could be the culprit.  Make sure to clean your night guard properly so it doesn’t start to cause you bad breath. 


And, there are some people who have a fear of bad breath which is called “halitophobia.” They will think that their breath is bad, when in fact, it is not. It is a legitimate phobia and is referred to as “pseudo-halitosis”. People who suffer from pseudo-halitosis will need reassurance from a therapist or psychiatrist. They may be sent to a primary care physician who can test for the presence of halitosis using instruments to detect specific compounds of bad breath. In this case, if halitosis is really an issue, they can refer them to a dentist. But oftentimes, the test serves as reassurance that there is not halitosis present.  


How to Address and Improve Bad Breath


-Brush your teeth twice daily with a toothpaste that has fluoride, and floss.

-Try using an alcohol-free mouthwash to rinse and gargle with

-Do not smoke or chew tobacco products

-To treat dry mouth make sure you are properly hydrated and try a dry mouth rinse or gel (you can usually find products like these over the counter)

Visit the dentist for annual checkups! Bad oral hygiene is the biggest cause of bad breath.

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