The Leading Cause of Bad Breath

Most people have spoken to someone with bad breath, and many of us have even suffered from bad breath at one point or another, but few seek to understand why it occurs.

Bad breath is not only an unfortunate occurrence when it presents itself in social situations, but it is also an oral health concern, as it often points toward an underlying cause, which can lead to more complicated oral health issues.

Most common causes of bad breath

Bad breath is a symptom of a bigger problem, so it is best to fully treat the cause, as opposed to simply covering the bad breath up with flavored gum or mouth freshener.

The following are the four most common causes of bad breath.

Poor oral hygiene

The first thing to consider if bad breath exists is oral hygiene. In many instances, individuals who suffer from bad breath are not practicing good oral hygiene, which leads to a massive increase in bacteria in the mouth.

When bacteria accumulates in the mouth without being properly washed out, it leads to a bad odor being emitted. In order to treat and prevent bad breath, be sure to brush the entire mouth several times a day, floss and use mouthwash at least once a day and visit the dentist regularly for a dental cleaning.

Food and drinks

Perhaps the most common cause of bad breath that occurs suddenly is consuming foods and drinks that put off a bad odor. In general, foods and drinks that have a strong smell can cause bad breath.

Food types that contain strong spices, such as garlic, often lead to bad breath, and it is important to practice good oral hygiene after consuming foods with a strong smell. The most common beverage that leads to bad breath is coffee, which can definitely have a strong effect when consumed throughout the day.

Medical conditions

There are certain medical conditions that may lead to bad breath as well, which can be slightly more difficult to treat than other common causes.

In many instances, medical conditions such as gastric reflux or diabetes can lead to bad breath, but the most common conditions are oral infections. If bad breath exists along with other signs of an oral infection, such as pain in the mouth and swollen gums, be sure to visit the dentist for diagnosis and treatment.

Dry mouth

Perhaps the leading cause of bad breath is dry mouth. When the mouth is dry, there is not any production of saliva to wash out all the food particles and bacteria that can cause bad breath.

Dry mouth can be the result of many different factors, including consuming certain foods and beverages, poor oral hygiene or sleep problems. However, perhaps one of the more common causes of dry mouth, which inevitably causes bad breath, is certain medications. If any of your medications lead to dry mouth, talk to a dentist, as it could lead to other health concerns.

Request an appointment here: or call Dental Sedation and Implant Center at (805) 920-2133 for an appointment in our Santa Barbara office.

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