You’re not alone – everyone has bad breath, and you’ve tried everything, from breath mints to chewing gum, yet bad breath still seems to linger. To best treat your bad breath, or halitosis, it’s essential to determine the cause of the problem.
The most common cause of bad breath, Jack Gruber, D.D.S. says, is food accumulation and its breakdown by bacteria. The breakdown releases a bad odor, causing that unpleasant smell in your mouth. Not too worry, though. Dr. Gruber says this is easy to control with brushing your teeth and tongue, flossing regularly and using a mild mouthwash.
The next common cause of bad breath is dry mouth, which can be a result of mouth breathing or a side effect of certain medications. Dry mouth can cause bad breath since there is no normal saliva flow, which is naturally antibacterial and helps cleanse the mouth of bacteria while washing away food particles. To help keep your saliva flowing, stay hydrated with plenty of water and have some sugar-free mints or gum.
Sometimes, though, bad breath is linked to some issue in the lungs or gastrointestinal tract, or some other health problems, such as sinus infections or diabetes can also cause bad breath.
If brushing after meals, flossing regularly and rinsing with a mild mouth wash does not solve your problem, your bad breath might be an indicator of gum infection. At this time, it’s advised you see your dentist who will be able to diagnose the deeper cause of your bad breath.