Top 7 things that cause bad breath

1. Poor oral hygiene

Smelly breath is most commonly caused by bacteria in your mouth. The microbes feed on food particles and release sulphur compounds which cause that distinctive smell. Brush your teeth twice a day and floss regularly to remove the food debris that bacteria feed on.

2. Certain food and drinks

Coffee and alcohol cause a favourable environment for bacterial growth. They also cause dehydration (see below). Onion and garlic are common causes of malodorous breath. This is because they contain those pesky sulphur compounds which are absorbed into the bloodstream and expelled when you breathe out.

3. Dry mouth (Xerostomia)

Healthy saliva has several important functions. Some of the main functions include providing enzymes that help with food digestion and washing away food debris (the stuff bacteria feeds on). Things that can cause a dry mouth include most medications, coffee and alcohol, frequent exercise and mouth breathing.

4. Gum disease

Poor oral hygiene can lead to gum disease (periodontal disease). Bacteria build up around the tooth and gum pocket, releasing toxins. If left untreated the bacteria burrow into the gum and jaw bone causing permanent damage.

5. Not brushing your tongue

Your tongue is perfect for hiding bacteria and also particles of food and drink that bacteria love to feed on. Up close your tongue has lots of small finger like bumps. To keep bacteria from breeding here, make tongue scraping or brushing a part of your oral hygiene routine.

6. Decay and infection

Similar to gum disease, the bacteria involved in the decay and infection process also causes smelly breath.

7. Other health problems

Bad breath can stem from certain health conditions such as a post nasal drip, gastric acids or reflux, diabetes and even kidney or liver problems!

If you are steering clear of these bad breath behaviours and your halitosis won’t let up, it might be time to get in touch with us at North Sydney Dental Practice. We provide great dental care in Sydney for our patients. As QIP accredited dentist, we aim to prevent tooth decay and promote healthy teeth and gums! Call us to make an appointment.

Further reading on general oral health here: How smoking can affect your oral health

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