Bad breath, known as halitosis, results from poor dental hygiene and oral habits, such as the below.
- Not brushing teeth before going to bed.
- Consuming food with a strong smell, like garlic/onions.
- Not brushing teeth after consuming foods.
- Forgetting to floss.
- Not using mouthwash.
- Smoking/chewing tobacco or tobacco products.
- Poorly fitting dental appliances (dentures, orthodontic appliances)
- Infections inside the mouth.
- Sores/ulcers inside the mouth.
- Dental caries/cavities.
- Xerostomia (A medical term for extremely dry mouth, which can be due to less production of saliva, from a syndrome, medication, or continuous breathing through the mouth).
- Infections of the surrounding structures around the mouth (respiratory tract, nose, ear, etc)
Below are measures one can take to prevent bad breath:
- Practice a good hygiene regime, which means brushing twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste to remove food debris and plaque, especially after eating.
- Replace your toothbrush every 2 months.
- Use floss regularly.
- Rinse with an antibacterial mouthwash.
- Remove dental appliances like dentures at night and clean thoroughly before using the next morning.
- Limit or stop smoking and chewing tobacco.
- Drink lots of water.
- Use sugarless chewing gum to stimulate
saliva production . (This helps wash away food particles and bacteria.)